Skip to main content

Full text of "The History of Wincanton, Somerset, from Earliest Times to the Year 1903"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

|"B^52t''4 5.'bfi 

J^arbarB (College Ethrary 




** Subscription of I^IG '* 




■^ WIN6ANT0N, 


"^roiTi, the earliest times to the year -1903. 


author of 
"The French in Wincanton," 
*» SxJtvoRDifLE Priory and Pen Pits," 
"Wincanton Fires fro m^ 1707," 
" WiNCANTON Memorials," 
** History of the Congregational Church," 
"WiNCANTON Sixty Years Ago," 
"Glossary of Wincanton Dialect," 
"Guide to Stourhead," 
"A Soldier*s Letters," 
"A West Country Potter," &c., &c. 


Published by Henry Williams, London. 

„ „ George Sweetman, Wincanton. 

JUNE, 1903. 




-^ 5 ^^^/•^3 


OCT 13 1916 




^jN the following pages will he found a very large number of 

facts concerning those who have lived in Wincanton^ or been 

in some way connected with it, during many centuries. Most of 

the principal characters have lived humdrum lives, apart from 

the great world of thought and action, Wincanton has been, 

and is, no doubt, a place typical of thousands of other places 

in the kingdom of King Edward the Seventh ; hut the writer 

remembers that of the history of such places the greater history 

of the United Kingdom is made up. No doubt that there 

are here inelegancies of expression, and, what is worse, 

inaccuracies as to the facts. As it is, however, being the writer's 

best effort, it must abide the verdict of public opinion, in common 

with much greater attempts. It has one negative virtue at least, 
** Naught is set down in malice.'* 


^\5\or( oj NN\tvcatv\otv. 

^^ fllNITO@pyOTIl@i. K^ 

" ^ ■ ^ AVE I read Sweetman's local histories ? No ! he 
l^p has never written any I He has simply used 
^ \3 scissors and paste ! *• Such was the expressed 

estimate of my work some years ago, and I will not deny that 
it was £air, if blunt. Scissors and paste have their uses ; by 
their aid accuracy is secvired. They are even useful in works 
of romance, as I know to my surprise, inasmuch as an eminent 
writer of fiction recently cribbed freely from one of my former 
pamphlets for use in one of his novels, and never had the 
courtesy to acknowledge his indebtedness. Yes, they are useful. 
For thirty years I have been using scissors and paste, but in 
the main I have copied what I thought worth preserving. To 
those who have many years before them I commend this 
pracflice. It is as pleasant as it is useful. To transcribe an 
old, badly written, time-worn document, overcoming one diffi- 
culty after another, is as pleasant and exhilarating as climbing 
a mountain of snow, and not half so dangerous. 

The genesis of this book is as follows : — In the year 1871, 
the Somerset Archaeological Society held its annual meetings 
in Wincanton. One of the speakers at one of the meetings 
said, "Wincanton has no history." Since then, the speaker 
has shown in a piece of good work that a much less populous 


place than Wincanton has a history, and one worth writing 
and publishing. At the time, I said to myself, " Is that true ? " 
I had read Collinson and Phelps and a few fragments besides, 
and those were all. I had heard of a mysterious Charter 
belonging to the town ; what it was, I could not find any to 
tell me, but I determined to find out, if possible. I believed, 
though I had never seen the couplet, that — 

"Attempt the end, and never stand to doubt, 
Nothing's so hard, but search will find it out." 

I got many rebuffs, but that kind-hearted young gentleman, 
the late Mr. Herbert Messiter, placed the documents belonging 
to the Town Charities at my disposal, which enabled me to 
bring cut "Fires in Wincanton." The church-wardens, 
Messrs. Fowler and Langhorne, lent me the old parish 
books. The present and past rectors have given me many 
extracts from the Registers. I desire also to acknowledge my 
indebtedness to the Revs. E. H. Bates, F. W. Weaver, 
W. E, Daniel, Canon Mayo, Messrs. T. H. Baker, E. Green, 
W. Macmillan, J. H. Moule, C. Tite, Harold Gray, and many 
others, to whom I have often applied and never in vain. 

To all these resources, I may add without boasting that I 
have always had an insatiable desire to know all that could be 
known of the past history of my native parish and of the 
people, rich and poor alike, who have spent their days here. 
With their habits, pursuits, sorrows and joys, I have sought to 
become acquainted. Though my eyes saw them not, nor my ears 
heard them, I have loved them. The very stones in the walls 
are dear to me. These pursuits and enquiries have helped to 
fill my life, and it is my desire by writing of them to fill the 
lives of others. Life never need be dull in the most out of 
the way place in the kingdom. It is as true of happiness as of 
religion — " He who seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh 
it shall be opened." ^ 

Our Oldest Inhabitant. 


mHIS is not the place, nor is the writer the person, to 
discuss whether the very earliest men found their 
way here, and lived and died in "The great Ice 
Age." Nor will any attempt be made to reconcile 
the theories of the scientists and the theologians as to the 
entry of man upon the earth, be it a million years or six 
thousand. There is more to be learned yet by both parties ; 
meanwhile, they may be left to discuss it amongst themselves. 
One thing is certain, and that is, that the less they know of 
the matter the stronger will be their opinions, and they will 
state them with the greater heat. Wincanton, however, had 
an early inhabitant, and, as far as we have any evidence, he 
was our oldest inhabitant. 

Why he hid himself so long, or why he revealed him- 
self when he did, is not for me to say. He returned to earth 
in fine sunshiny weather, and introduced himself to the writer 
in or about the year 1870. Some men were quarrying in 
Great Windmill for building stones. They had taken off the 
turf and were throwing back the soil. The section they were 
on would have to be quarried from 12 to 20 feet below the 
surface. On one side of this section and about 7 feet below 
the turf level an objecfl was seen glinting in the sun. The 
writer went to it and found by scraping away the sand with 
his fingers that the object was globular ; moreover, he saw 
that it was a human skull. He set the men to work down to 
the obje<5l, giving them most particular instrucflions to use 
every care. After working for several hours through ordinary 

Our Oldest Inhabitant. 

soil, and then through about four feet of loose stones, they 
came to the skull and fragments of human bones. There was 
no cist, and apparently there never had been, or if there had 
it was of the most primitive and rudest character. 

Careful examination led to the finding of a flint chip or 
two, (there are none to be found in any natural formation 
within 2 or 3 miles of the quarry, unless carried there,) a piece 
of stag's horn, and small pieces of a rude drinking vessel about 
9 inches high, reddish-brown outside and black inside, the 
material about i-yth of an inch thick, with a zigzag pattern 
upon it. The skull and the pottery were preserved, and a year 
or two later on they were sent to the County Museum at 
Taunton where they still are. An outcry was made at the 
time that these were the remains of a man who 20 or 30 years 
before had mysteriously left the town and never come back. 
This theory would not be admitted by the merest tyro in 
antiquarian pursuits. It was palpable that England was but 
young at least when the owner of the bones and pottery was 
buried there. The writer thought they were the remains of a 
neolithic man, but having great respect for his pastors and 
masters, he submits his judgment to theirs and admits that they 
may belong to the bronze age. He takes comfort, however, 
in the fact that one overlapped the other, in much the same 
way as in a war between Europeans and Africans, the latter 
would be furnished, some with guns and * villainous salt-petre,* 
and others with such rude weapons as they could lay hands on. 

If this man fell fighting on the height of the little town 
or village, he had those who cared for him to bury his bones, 
and with them such requisites for the future life or other 
country as they could spare him, namely, some weapons with 
which to contend against his future foes, and a vessel to hold his 
drink. He was probably a warrior, pure and simple. If he 
had been a chief, he would probably have had a more 
elaborate funeral. He was, one thinks, such a man as Caesar 
would have found the country inhabited by when first he came 
to make his onslaughts on the people of these isles. One 
other remark only. Many bodies buried during the last 20 
years have only left in the ground a thick black streak to show 
the burial, but here, under favourable conditions, for many 
hundreds of years, the skull remained almost as perfect as it 
would have been a few months after having been deposited 

Since writing the foregoing, I have received the following 
report from Mr. Harold Gray, curator of the Taunton 

Our Oldest Inhabitant. 

Museum, who is an expert in such matters. It gives me 
great pleasure to reproduce his opinion. 

** This skull is a typical specimen of the Bronze Age, 
and is of pronounced brachycephalic or long-headed type. 
I am unable to give you the cephalic index, not having 
the necessary instruments here. The skulls of the neo- 
lithic period were dolicocephalic or hyperdolicocephalic, 
that is, long-headed or very long-headed, and the heads 
were, moreover, very narrow in proportion to the length. 
The pot found with the interment is in quality and orna- 
mentation what is most frequently found with interments 
by inhumation of the Bronze Age. Pottery was very 
scarce in Neolithic times, and of far rougher and coarser 

The flint scraper found with it had very fine secondary 
chipping on the almost semi-circular cutting edge. The horn, 
he said, belonged to a deer. Mr. Tite, in sending Mr. Gray's 
report, adds, presumably Mr. Gray's words — "General Pitt 
Rivers had four of these interesting drinking vessels, but had 
the Wincanton specimen been perfect it would have surpassed 
any that I have ever seen. Our museum contains a large 
portion of another from Bromley, Kent." 

Origin of the Name. 

W0G^(gl^I?|t®II^ooolfl}||(i @rlfl\l\ @f ^\^ ^klI^iB 

The origin of the name is lost in obscurity. He would 
be a bold man who would dogmatise upon the subjecfl. The 
safer plan is to give the opinions of various writers, and allow 
the right of private judgment. The following are the chief 
authorities. It will be seen that they by no means agree. 

Camden, who gives emphasis to the second syllable of the 
word, traces the name lo the Cangi, and says, without appar- 
ently any confirmation by anyone else, that the place is some- 
times called Cangton. 

The Magna Britannia says that ** Cannington, Wincanton 
and Canesham (Keynsham) seem fully to prove that this 
county is the seat of the Cangi." 

** Cwynn-Caunton, Wincanton, Armoric6 and Britannic^, 
that is, the bright or pleasant town of the Cangi," 

Thomas Hearne. 

Stukeley calls it " The Mansion of the Cangi." 

Skinner derives the name from Wine which might formerly 
have been made here, and from Canute who was defeated in 
the neighbourhood. Here we have the suggestion of the town 
of the vineyard where Canute was defeated. 

Two writers, however, attach importance to the first 
syllable Wyn, but singularly, they differ as to the meaning of 
it. They think it refers to a winding river, but, whilst 

Professor Wilkins says Wyn means beautiful, and Cal 
winding, and Ton enclosure or village, a Welsh name for 
enclosure on winding river — 

Flavel Williams in "Traces of History in the names of 
places " comes to the conclusion that it means a town on the 
winding of the river Cale. 

The late Rev. Hill Wichham slightly differs from the two 
last-named. He deduces the name from Win — height, Cale 
the river, and ton the town, the town on the height above the 

Origin of the Name. 

river Cale. Unfortunately for this theory, the old town was 
mainly on the same level as the river, as was usual with old 
dwelling-places beside rivers or streams. 

Then we have two writers in harmony — 

Collinson, who says it means Win — pleasant, Cale the 
name of the river, and ton the town, — and 

G. P. R, Pulman, in *A Lecture on the Names of Places,* 
" The pleasant town upon the river Cale." 

And finally, a writer signing himself H, in "Somerset 
and Dorset Notes and Queries, Vol. III., page 273, gives a 
very reasonable solution of the difficulty. He says, under the 
heading of Wincale — "The stream which gave name to 
Wincanton, formerly spelt Wincalton and Wincaunton, see 
charter in Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus, Vol. III., page 445, 
describing bounds of an estate granted in 956 to Shaftesbury 
Abbey. Two streams are mentioned, the Wincawel and the 
Cawel, but from the uncertainty of the descriptions, especially 
of the starting point, it is impossible to lay down their 
respective courses. The presumption is that the Cale was the 
Western branch contributed from Hoi ton, the Wincale that 
which has been called the Cale since the distindlive name was 

The farther one goes, however^ in thiis subje<5t the more 
perplexing it becomes, for it is easy to see that speculations 
niay arise as to " Haultone" and " Chaweltone" — present form, 
Holton and Charlton, — in both of which parishes one or 
other portion of the river rises or passes through. It appears, 
however, that the town derives its name from the Cale, but 
whether Win means * the beautiful * as applied to the river I 
confess I cannot believe, or the neighbourhood, which is 
possible, or whether it means * winding ' I will not pretend to 
decide. " When dodlors diflfer," we are told that the right <tf 
private judgment is restored. Here, at any rate, I leave it. 

Variants of the Name. 

¥l^irkto®ir|S @f i\® |pQ&@(s vikm®c 

There are as many variations in the spelling of the name 
as there would be if one sat down to see how many he could 
make, and yet all the following names appear to be given bona 
fide. The earliest date at which I find the present form is that 
of 1651, and that in a deed between one of the Churchey and 
one of the Baker families. 

Domesday book A.D. 1085 gives — 

Hwinca — Birch's Domesday Book. 
Vuelcantone — Exon Domesday. 
Welcantone — Eytpn's Domesday Studies. 
Wincannetone — „ „ „ 

Wyncaulton — Exchequer Lay Subsidie, A.D. 1327. 

Weaver's incumbents, page 215 ; 1374. 
Wynalton — Somerset Record. 
Wincainietone — Exeter Domesday. 
Winecaulton — Magna Britannia. 
Wincaulton — „ „ 

Winkehaultone — Kirbys Quest, A.D. 1285. [Pedes Finium. 
Wynkaulton — Forest Pleas of Penselwood. A.D. 1475. 
Wincalletona — Exeter Domesday Book. 
Wyncaunton — A.D. 1349. Weaver's Incumbents, page 54. 

99 1559- M M 

„ i593« A Wincanton Deed. 

„ Colby's Visitation of Somerset. 

Wynecaunton — 1540. Richard Bekyn's will. 

„ 1520. Old Map at Binghams Melcombe. 

„ 1 541. Robert Hine's will. 

Wincalton — 1647. Old local deed. 

„ 1703. Highway rate. 

„ 1705* Charter to Wincanton. 

„ 1678. Borough Rate, Wincanton. 

And in several other books and documents. 
W3mcalton — 1540. In Richard Bekyn's will. 

„ 1541- In Robert Hine's will. 

Wynegaunton — 1676. Speed's Theatre of the Empire* 


Variants of the Name. 

Winecaunton — 1693. Conveyance of Bell Inn. 

„ 1719' Deed, Bennett and Farewell. 

„ 1724. Feoffees* Account Book. 

Wykalton — Somerset Records. 
Wyncanton — 1541. Robert Hine's will. 

„ Colby's Visitation of Somerset. 

Wykauleton — Somerset Records. 
Wynd cale-town — Flavel Williams in " Traces of History in 

Names of Places." 
Winkington — 1688. Burnett's Own Time. 
Waincaunton — Colby's Visitation. 
Winchaulton — Bruton Charters, No. 29. 
Wincaneton — Bruton Charter, No. 83. 
Wincaunton — 1578. Croydon Tablet in Oxford Cathedral. 

„ Camden's Britannia. 

„ 1685. History Monmouth Rebellion. 

„ 1735' Faculty for enlarging Church. 

„ 1803. Calamy's None. Memorials. 

And very many other places. 
In the account book of the Feoffees of the Fairs and 
Markets, from 1707 to 1724, the name is spelt Winecaunton, 
but from the latter date onward, the present form Wincanton is 

It must not be supposed, however, that this form did not 
come into use till then. It may be seen as early as 1651 in a 
local deed, Churchey to Baker ; in 1665 in another deed, 
Farewell to Churchey ; in 1710, in a Wincanton Rate ; in 
1728, in Feoffees' Accounts ; in 1748, in "Molls' Atlas." It 
is only since the beginning of the last century that the present 
spelling came into univer^ use. 

I pass by the name Cangton, which Stukeley following 
Camden gives it, as being a manifest blunder. Without this 
name, however, we have here, all of them supported by docu- 
ments, no less than 29 variations of the name ; enough, surely, 
to satisfy the most fastidious taste. It is not surprising, how- 
ever, that there are so many variations, inasmuch, as sometimes 
in deeds, people formerly spelt their own names in several 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 



Without going so far as to say that the changing of place 
names ought to be made penal, every antiquary must regret 
that names are so often changed. Much is lost in every way 
by such senseless changes as are continually taking place. It 
makes identification all but impossible. In some cases a 
variety of names for the same place overlap each other, as one 
example, the field abutting on Common Lane and Bayford 
Hill has within the last century been called "The Park," 
" Town Close," " Quarry Ground," " Town End Close," and 
" Ways Garden." The names of some places are, indeed, 
changed every time the tenant is changed. Let it be under- 
stood that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of names 
of places by any means. It may serve, however, as a 
beginning;. In many instances, I can make no suggestion as 
to the origin of the name. 

" Akers, Aucres or Hawkers Bridge." First mention of 
the name is Aucres, A.D. 1654. Probably from Awgar, 
Adelgar or Athelgar, an early Bishop of Crediton. At 
Maiden Bradley is another bridge, dedicated to S. Algar. See 
Jackson's "Selwood Forest." 

"Abergany," a mile on the Castle Cary road. First 
mention, 1745, as John Pike's. Probably named after George 
Lord Abergavenny, who married into the Zouch family when 
they were owners of the Manor of Wincanton. 

"Abbott's Brains," or "Liver Croft" in Common. In 
1736, Mr. William Craddocks. Probably, Abbott was an 
early owner or occupier. 

"Aldermead." There are several fields of this name in 
the parish. Churchey's property in A.D. 1665. 

"Allotment" at Battispool. Because allotted at enclosure 
of the Common in 1771 to Charity Feoffees. 

"Angel Lane" in Wincanton. Because it abutted on 
the Angel Inn. Earliest reference A.D. 1678. 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

"Anchor Hill," on the road to Holton. Because a 
public-house c^led " The Anchor " stood at its foot till some 
time in 19th century, 

"Ash Field," Verrington. 

" The Acre " at Horwood. " Not any certain number 
of acres." — G. P. R. Pulman. 

"Andrew's Well" or " St. Andrew's Well." Formerly a 
public well near the mill. 

"Andrew's Strap" on Hook Farm. 

" Batch," at the foot of West Hill. A rising ground. 
"A rough copse on a hillside." G. P. R. Pulman. 

"Balsam," Balsham or Balsome. References, 1651, 1658b 
A horse leaze, or pasture, or perhaps the name of an early 

" Brain's Farm " — " Braynes." Spurious name Bryants. 
Richard Braynes in 1668. 

" Brook Close," Brain's Farm. The name is obvious. 

" Bennett's Mead " in Tything. The property of Burlton 
Bennett in i8o6. Probably that of Philip Bennett, at end 
of 17th century. 

"Brock's Hole" in Hook Field. After brock— badger, 
or perhaps Anselm Brocks, churchwarden in 1645 — 7. 

" Bayford," as the name implies, the stream at the foot of 
the hill had to be forded before the hill was lowered about 1820. 

" Ball Common," a common land for horses, hence Pie- 
ball or SkewbalL "Woa Ball, or rather, wuU zuU thee." 
" Folk Lore " in Somerset Dialedl. 

Buck Mill, Cucklington. Boc. A.S. Book — ^By Royal 

" Broadmead." Th^re are several fields of this name in 
the parish from 1593 onwards. The name explains itself. 

" Bitwood," or " Brickhouse." Churchey's in 1651. 

" Burgess Close," a field recently purchased with Ireson 
House by Mr. John Wadman. A portion of " Eastfield " in 
1615. Dr. Burgess had a quarry there in 1756, hence, perhaps, 
the name. It may be, however, because a portion of it was 
the property of the Burgesses of Wincanton. 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

** Bifleet's Mead " on Moorhays farm. Bifleet was a 
Bratton gentleman and owner of property sometime before 
1594. It was tithed to Wincanton in 1770. 

"Black Close'* in Hook Farm. 

" Barn Close," Suddon, adjoining the Barn. 

"Bell Plot" or "Bell Close" in Tything, now called 
"Bellfield." Legend has it that some bells for Wincanton 
Church were cast there. 

"Bean Close" or "Beam Close" at Verrington. 

" Brickkiln Groimd " in West Hill, at Sunny Hill, and 
Lawrence Hill. All, no doubt, the sites of Brickyards. 

"Bametts," Great and Little, on West Hill. Since 
called " Old Barn," now " New Bam." Probably long ago 
owned by a Barnett or Barnard. 

" Biddlecombe*s Orchard" on Bayford Hill. Formerly 
owned by Wm. Biddlecombe, and was an orchard till about 

" Bristowes Hayes." In 1580, owned by Jerom (jylman. 

"Breweme" on S. side of High Street in 1580. A 
Brewery or Brewhouse at this early date. 

" Benchwalls," A.D. 1745. ifow called "The Elms," 
Charlton Musgrove. 

" Burton's Mill." So called, probably, to distinguish it 
from the King's Mill. Mentioned in 171 7. 

" Beacon Ash, above Suddon." Stukeley 1724. No doubt 
an ash tree, used as beacon or landmark. 

" Battispool." Mentioned in 1593. Probably a man by 
the name of Batt was drowned there. 

"Battispool Drove." Referred to in Common Award, 

"Barrow La»e;*' Probably there was once a barrow 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

" Barnard's Combe," now ** New Park," Stavordale. "A 
manor or reputed manor, near or in the Ancient Forest of 
Selwood." — Sir R. C. Hoare's will. 

"Conigar" or "Conigore," at back of Mr. Cash's residence. 
Also at Stoke Trister. — In 1756, Tomas Clark's of Brewton. 
Y. Cyn, Gaer, — an advanced outpost. In the latter case, 
probably it was a fortification. In the former, very likely it 
meant rabbit warren. 

"Compton Pauncefote." The village in the Combe 
belonging to the Pauncefotes. 

" Cadbury." • Cad,' Brit, for battle. * Bury,' A.S. for 
fortified place. G. P. R. Pulman. 

" Camelot." — Cair Celemion (one of the 33 cities enumer- 
ated by Nennius). 

" Coach Road," cor. of Cock Road. In 1805 so spelled. 
152 acres. From Coch i.e. Red ? 

" Cale," the river at the bottom of the town. (See origin 
of Dame of Wincanton.) 

" Culverhaies." A.D. 1580, from Culver or pigeon, and 
hayes — hedge— enclosure. Now called " Devonshire House." 

**Coldbath Orchard" on West Hill, formerly called 
" Hindleys." Early in the 19th century it contained a Cold 
Bath, reached by steps. 

"Croft," corrupted to Crate or Craat, in Wincanton 
Common. A.S. — a small enclosed field, 

" Crowpit Lane " on Moorhays Farm. 

" Cutts Close," Verrington. A.S. Cote or Cottage ; or 
belonging to Cutts ? 

" Cuddlesome," " Cuttlesham," " Churchlesham." The 
first a corruption. The home of the Cults, Cuttles, or 
Churcheys? "Cburchlesham" in 1263. Purchased by Prior 
of Stavordale of Nicholas de Stanhuse. 

" Church House." In 1558, described as " Lying in the 
middle of the town, occupied by John Evans." 

** Cock House," a house on the ** Batch " with a small 
orchard, demolished about 1850. 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

" Conways," a field and probably a tenement adjoining 
Balsam in A.D. 1651. 

" Coylton Terrace." Built and named by Mr* Linton, 
a Scotchman, about 1830. 

«* Conduit Hill," so called because the old conduit stood 
there. Now Bayford Hill. 

" Carter's Plot." Probably the allotment to one Carter 
when the common was enclosed. 

" Clewett's Yard." So called because a Mr. Clewett kept 
the shop where Mr. Carrington now lives. 

"Ceadda or Chad Well." St. Chad was Bishop of 
Lichfield in A.D. 673. 

" Christichens." Described as meadow (5-2-16) in Tithe 
Book, 1840, belonging to Uriah Messiter. 

" Dunfords " or " Dumfords Close." Glebe land between 
Common Lane and Bayford Hill. 

"Duke's Close" in Common. 

" Dancing Lane," connecfling West Hill with Verrington. 

" Devilish Lane " in Stoke Trister parish, probably cor. 
of Dewlish or Dulish. It is called Dulish in Edward 
Shepard's will, A.D. 1725. 

" The Dogs," (now changed to " The Old House.") So 
called because a dog in stone stood on each of the two pillars 
at the entrance. The first mention of " The Dogs " I find is 
in 1805. The dogs were put up in Churchey's time, no doubt. 

"Dyer's Leaze," at Marsh, Wincanton. Before 1639, 
held by John Harbin of the King. Probably belonged to and 
named after one of the Dyer family. 

"Dove House," on Hook Farm in 1651. At that time 
this was manorial property, and was, no doubt, the pigeon 
house of the manor. 

"Dove's Close," 1741, since called "Webb's Ground,' 
Bayford Hill, now Mr. Langhome's. The pond in this field 
was made in 1741. The field probably belonged to Peter 
Dove, who was churchwarden of the parish in 1676 — 7 and 
died in 1682. 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

" Elm Close," at Brain's Farm. 

** East Field," — ** Burgess* Close." In 1615 belonging to 

ierome Vining, in 1648 — Edward Vining, in 1736 — Nathaniel 

** The Elms," Charlton Musgrove, so named, on the house 
being built, by Mr. B. Bracher in 1880. Called ** Bench walls" 
in 1745. 

** Earl's Copse" or ** Ivy's Mead," on Hook Farm in 
1805. Since then the farm dismembered. 

"Elbow Ground," on Hook Farm in 1805. 

** Fox," a field of 15 acres on Brain's Farm. 

•* Flowers Close " on Bayford Hill. 

" Fiddlers Hays," adjoining on the North of " First 
Balsam." In 1589, owned by Alexander Dyer and held by 
Wm, Churchey, Surgeon. In 1500 called " Vedelers Hey." 
When matters in dispute were settled by the rule of fist, this 
was the Wincanton Law Court. 

"Flinger's Lane." In the High Street, leading to 
" Burgess' Close." In 1736, Mr. Flinger was Highway Sur- 
veyor, and for many years was owner or occupier of ** Durn- 
ford's," and in 1749 was a clothier in Wincanton. 

"Franck's Mead," in 1580, held by James Dier, L.C.J., 
occupied by John Ivy. (See list of Burgesses.) 

" Fudges," on West Hill. Dorothy Churchey's property 
in 1748. 

** Great Hutchings" in the Common. In 1805, owned by 
Silas Blandford and Samuel Richards. i8-a. 3-r. 21-p. pasture. 

"Great Orchard," West Hill. In 1805, owned by 
Dorothy Hurd, occupied by Mr. Chester. 

"Great Windmill," 9-0-31. In 1803, owned by Chr. 
Morrish in descent from I reson. 

" Glynns," 8-2-26, and " Inner Glynns," 8-0-6, adjoining 
Hook. Sometimes in error called " Glens." In 1648, Henry 
Glynn, senr., and Henry Glynn, junr., were living here. They 
belonged to the Royalist party and were fined heavily by 
** The Committee." 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

" Great West Leaze " — Leas — Leighs — Leys. Beyond 
Suddon, 12-2-22 in 1805. The meaning is obscure, authorities 
differ as to origin, from — " Wooded Land " — ** Grass or 
Sward," Water from A.S. Lagu, or from *lah,* a distrid^ 
governed by a particular law. On Suddon Grange is another 
of the same name, 14-3-7 meadow in 1805. 

"Grove," Shadwell House, 1-0-34 pasture in 1805. 

" Grants Lane," — Grange ? Leading to Ireson House. 
" Grange, a place for grain." — Skeat. 

" Groves End," or ** Vennislo." Where ? Referred to 
in an ancient Bruton Cartulary. 

"Greenhill," Horwood. Pasture, 27-2-24. Robert 
Gapper*s in 1805, occupied by James Hayter. 

"Gallys," Sunnyhill. 3-0-12 pasture in 1805. John 
Galley lived in Wincanton in 1703 and in 1745. 

" Greenhayes," on Suddon Farm. 8-2-7 in 1805. Re- 
ferred to in 1703. 

"Gerard's Plot," or "Paddock." Robert Perrior's in 
1 801. Gerard — Jerrard— -Jarrett is an old Wincanton name. 

" God's Well," at West Leas. 

"Great Piece," at Carter's Plot. A long-used field for 
military manoeuvres. 

" Gooselands," Charlton Musgrove. 58 acres, purchased 
in July, 1899. The name appears to have been given it before 
the lands were enclosed. 

" Great Swifts." 24-3-38. George Messiter's in 1805. 

" Goldesborough's," or " Row-thorn " — Rough thorn. 
Captain Goldesborough lived here early in 19th century. 

There are many other fields called " Great Ground." 

" Home Ground," " Home Orchard," " Home Land," 
^* Ham Mead," &c., are of frequent occurrence. 

"Hawkers Bridge." (See "Aucres Bridge.") It was 
built in 1833. On the South wall is a tablet inscribed — 
" Richard Stone, builder, Yarcombe, 1833." 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

" Kurd's Mead," or " Moor Lane Mead." In 1593, 
church property occupied by Hugh Ivie. 

" Hambridge," Burton's Mill. In 1648, Andrew Ivie's, 
late Thomas Gapper. 

** Hockey." Manorial land in 1580, held by John Evans. 

" Hook Farm." From the name of two fields thereon. 
A.S. H6c — the bends or hooks in the river or connecSling fields. 
First reference found 1651. Also in Stoke Trister and Holton 
are Hook Farms. 

" Horwood " — The boundary wood, from Latin ' ora * ? 
The white wood from Hoar. 

« Heale," Cucklington. Hele— Hell— a descent. 

"Hatchet Mead," cor. "Hatches Mead." In iSoi, 
* Hatchhouse Mead' is mentioned a& being opposite Prancefield. 

" Hurle Comer," on Laurence Farm. Burlton Bennett's 
in 1805. In 1833 called Hurdle Comer. Robert Herle of 
Suddon Manor, 1366 ? 

" Hop Garden," in Flinger's Lane in 1805. Called "Hop 
Yard," i acre, in i8o6. ^ 

" Hounds Close," in Tything. 

" Hole Hill," on Bruton road. 

" Hi Pi Corner," near the old Poorhouse. 

" Hatherleigh." Churche/s in 1698. (Hither Lea ?)— 
near the town. 

. " Infield," and " Little Infield." Probably formerly en- 
closed from the Common before the other portions. 

" Island," on Laurence Farm. Surroimded by water in 
1805, then a garden, since then thrown into " Bennetts." 

" Ivy's Meads." No doubt formerly owned by the Ivy 

" Jerratt's Lains." An enclosure inserted between other 
property, cor. of line — e.g., a mason's axe is lained when a 
piece of steel is inserted. In this case, Jarrett's land between 
that of another. 


Placb Names in and around Wincanton. 

"Jewells." Mr. Stagg*s property in Mill Street. In 
1793 called "Jewells." Philip Jewell died in 1676. 

" Ivy Cottage," at Gooselands, because erecSled in a field 
known as " Ivy's Bars." 

" Ireson House," because built and owned by Ireson. 

" Kingwell Bam," near to Carter's Plot. 

" Knowl Park" and " Knowl Rock^" in Shepton Montague. 
* A manor or reputed manor,' formerly belonging to Sir Stephen 
Fox. A.S. cnol, Welsh cnol — a rounded hillock. 

" Knap." A rising ground, e.g., Verrington Knap. 

" Kmg's Mill," or " King Alfred's Mill," at the bottom of 
Mill Street. Referred to in Domesday Book. 

"Little Bridge," a Bridge between Cucklington and 
Stoke Trister. 

"Lady Crate" or "Lady Croft," on Horwood estate. 
In 1703, Elizabeth Coope's. In 1805, Robert Gapper's. 
Probably church property formerly dedicated to the Virgin 

"Laurence Brook," three fields lying by the river. In 
1736, Biddlecombe's. 

" Lull Mead," in the Common. In 1801, Philip Pitman's. 
In 1893, Robert Green's. 

" Long Mead," 18 acres in Wincanton Marsh. At an in- 
quisition in 1 62 1, Robert Harbin of Yeovil held it in socage of 
the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England. 

"Lambert's" Field and Well. Part of Snag Farm, 
Wincanton. A¥rarded to Snag Farm in 181 8. 

" Leirs Hatches," a field referred to in a rate in 1703. 

" MaUdn Hill," North Cheriton, cor. of Maltkin, Malting 
having been formerly carried on there. As to the hill, deponent 
saith not. 

" Moggs Copse." Named after the owner, being 
Churchold's or Churchey's wood during its ownership by the 
Churchey family. 

"Moorhays." Owned by Jerome Dibben in the i6th 
century and onward. In 1812, 184 acres. 


Place Names in and around Wincanton, 

"Maggots Leaze." Cor. of Margaret's, on Laurence 

"Marsh Court." Several farms in Wincanton Marsh 
claim this title. There was a moated house of the Zouch 
family here in the 15th century and later, the ruined moat still 
remains. Several of the noble family of the Zouches died here. 

** Mill Street." The name is obvious. There is no 
mention of it by any other name. 

" Moggs Close," in Dancing Lane. Dorothy Kurd's in 

" Moor Close." Dorothy Kurd's in 1801. 

"Mill Hams." An orchard by the Mill, called "Mill 
Orchard" in 1805. 

"Mundy's Close," on Balsam Farm. Philip Pitman's 
in 1805. 

" Motions Orchard," x rood, abutting on Conigar Lane at 
the back of Ceaddawell Kouse. 

" Mount Pleasant," above Burton's Mill. Robert 
Capper's in 1801. 

" Make House," in High Street, Wincanton, in 1558. 

"Merry Down." Cor. of "Mary Down," in Devenish 
or Dulish Lane. Apparently church property once on a time. 

" North Street." The name explains itselft 

" Norn "— " Norden "— " North Down." Apparently, all 
that part was once a down, and was divided in Nordon and 
Suddon, i.e.. North Down and South Down. A very old 
rhyme says — "Nam bam, where the devil blows his harn." 
The prospect from here is very fine. 

" The Nursery." 1805— Mr. George Messiter's. Still a 
nursery — 1902 — Mr. C. Pocock's. 

"New Park," at Stavordale. (See Barnard's Combe.) 
In 1793 — * Late the residence of Lord Clifford.' 
* Another of the same name at Yarlington.* 

**New Bam." A barn on West Hill, so called to dis- 
tinguish from " Old Bam" higher up the hill.. Formerly, both 
belonged to James Churchey, merchant. 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

"Old Barn." Now called "New Barn," owned and 
occupied by Mr. Dyke. 

"Orchard." In the tithe book in 1805, there were 20 
fields so called ; there are many less now. 

"Oxen Leaze," at West Leaze. 11 -a o-r. 29-p. in 1805, 
owned by Richard Messiter, 

"Oathills" or "Outhills," at Sunnyhill Farm. 

"Oswestry." House and land at Ball Common. Reference 
in Wincanton Tithe book. Also in Kelly's Directory, 1861. 

" Poplar Ground." Mr, Burlton Bennett's in 1805. 
Formerly there were many poplars at various parts of the 
town, probably planted when the French captives were here. 
Now there are none. 

" Park," at the East end of the town, called at different 
times, " Ways Garden," " Town Close," " Town End Close," 
"Quarry Ground." For a long period Gapper property, now 
Mr. Langhome's. 

" Prancefield," Horwood. At least two of this name, a 
very old name. 

" Plantation." One rood in Conigar, 1805: The legend 
is that after quarrying on the spot, trees were planted to 
improve the view. 

" Pitman's Orchard," at Whitehall. About half an acre 
in 1 801. Over 20 cottages and gardens now cover the spot. 

" Pointings," at Battispool. 

"Perhams," part of Horwood. 1801 — Robert Capper's, 
1742— called Periame. 

" Pikes Orchard." See Nursery. 

" Priors House," 1558. . See Burgage List. 

" Pear Tree Close," 1558. Henry Glynne's. 

" Petteshaies," 1558. See Burgage List. 

" Parsonage," 1703. Now called " Devonshire House." 

"Quarry Close," at Sunny Hill. 

"Quarry Ground." See Park. 

"Queen Anne's Augmentation Glebe." 1742 — Rev. C. 
Piucknett, namely, * Broadmoor ' or • Cooper's Close^' 9 acres, 
' Broadfield,' part of, 5 acres, * Hurst Close,' 5 acres. In i8oi, 
let at a rental of £25, 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

" Roundhill Grange.*' The birthplace of Sir James Dier. 
In 1327 spelt * RoenhulL' The present name seems unfortunate. 
I venture upon its earlier name as A.S. Rond — border, el — land. 
It is the borderland of Wincanton and Charlton Musgrove. 
See " Wincanton Mansions." 

" Rosemary Mead," West Leas. Rosemary grows wild 
there, even now. 

"Reckless." Variously spelt, — R^ckhayes, Rtckhayes, 
and Rockhayes, in West Hill. Two fields, g-a. i-r. 28-p. 
A.S. Rec-i— ruler, hence rector, reck. Hayes plural for hedge — 
enclosure. Belonging to the Lord of the Manor. See 
Bosworth's A.S. Dictionary. 

"Rings drinking place," at the foot of Lawrence Hill, 
owned, probably, by one of the Ring family, solicitors at 

"Rodber House," 1745. Rodbard---Rodborough. Rod— ^ 
road, Borough — ^the boundary of the Borough. See "Wincanton 

" Rousewell House,^* ^55^9 owned by Lawrence Dier. 

" Rockhill House," now Shadwell Lane. Built between 
1725 and 1742 by Bartholomew Day. 

"Rodgrove." 1774 — Henry Dyke. 1786 — ^John Perry. 

" Row Thorn," or " Rough Thome." See Goldesboroughs. 

"Row Crate,"— Croft. 7-3-8. 

" Somerset." Gwlad yr havren. * The land on the shores 
of the Severn.* — Rev. W. A. Jones. 

"Suddon," — Sud din. South Down. See "Wincanton 

" Stoke Trister," Truster. Stockade and tristrie, a hunting 
meet. Some derive Trister from the del Estree family. 

"Summerleaze Moor," on Brain's Farm. 

"Stall Mead," on Horwood Farm. 

" Spring Close," 9-3-36. Robert Gapper's in 1745. 

„ „ on Cutttesham Farm, ii-o-33, William 

Webb's in 1805. 
„ „ West Leaze, 1-3-23. 
„ „ Brain's Farm, 5-3-8. 
„ „ Hook Farm, Wincanton, 7-3'i7. 


Place Names ik and around Wincanton. 

"Sunny Hill Farm." In 1805, iii-a. i-r. 9-p. Thomas 
Leir's. Shadricks or Shitterocks, 2 fields at Sunnyhill. 

" Spittemhead," Shepton Montague. 

"Suddon Elm," abutting on Dancing Lane. Name 
appears in 1593 and again in 165 1. No doubt, at one time a 

" Shawford," or " Shalford." Probably short for Sh^low- 

" Stavordale." The dale of the Stour. 

"Searts Farm, Bratton." Probably from Steort, A.S., 
a point or promontory. 

" Shanks House." 1622, Hugh Watts' will, " My house 
called Shankes." (Johanne Larcyo's in 1327 ?) 

" Shatterwell." See Ceaddawell. 

"Tyte's Brains," Brain's Farm. First reference, 1703, 

"Town Close," Brain's Farm. 

" Twelve Acres." There are several fields of this name. 

" Tompkins" or "ChaflFeys," on West Hill. The hill was 
until the last few years known as " Tompkins* Hill." George 
Tompkins was overseer in 1795. Wm. ChaflFey was overseer 
in 1784. West Hill house is said to have been built and in- 
habited by Mr. Tompkins early in last century. 

" Tidewells," on Lawrence Farm. Two closes of meadow 
in 1651, owned by James and occupied by Thomas Churchey. 
"Tidewells" Little, at Moore Gate in 1708. 

" Tanners Comer," connecting Bayford Hill with Common 
Lane, 25-a. 2-r. 31 -p. pasture. Formerly called * Abbotts' 
and * Bennetts.' 

"Tout Hill House," in South Street, referred to in 1651, 
then James Churchey's, afterw|u:ds Gapper's. The latter 
family had another Tout Hill at Shaftesbury in 1643. No 
doubt meaning Outlook, hence 'tout' one who goes before. 

"Thomwell Lane," at foot of Tout Hill, referred to in 
1558. A public dipping place for generations. Late in last 
century an iron pump was plaeed there, replacing a lead or 
wood pump. 


Place Names in and around Wincanton. 

"Tethem" — Tything. Houses and lands outside the 
Borough, formerly under the jurisdiction of Tything men who 
reported to the Court Leet. Later, the Tything, at least in 
this parish, was controlled by a constable appointed annually, 
separate from the constable for the borough. Both now out of 
date. Called " Tethynge of Wyncaulton " in 1549. The dis- 
tinction of T3rthing and Borough still affects the Land Tax. 

<' Tindertx^x." A house and garden at Bratton. 

" Vining's Living," in Dancing Lane. 

** Vinney Hayes," meadow. 

"Verrington" Orchard, Knap Lane. Probably owned 
by Veryng family. 

*' Verringfon Comer." In 1664 belonged to John Hill. 

" Verrington Lodge Farm." 

<<Vennislo," or *' Grovesend." Probably near Marsh 

** Wincanton Allotment." See Allotment. 

" Withy Bed." One rood on Laurence Farm. Pasture 
in 1805. 

" Webbs Orchard." Now Churchfield, Board Schools, 
and Market. 

" Ways Garden." See Park, &c. 

"Ways Close." 13 acres arable. Now Garden Allot- 
ments. The property of Poors' Land Trustees. 

" Webbs Ground," adjoining the latter on the West. 

" Whitejball." Origin of name unknowQ. At foot of 
Hole Hill. 6 cottages in 1840, 21 in 1902. 

" West Leas." Beyond Suddon. 

House built 1766. On Stone — ^ 


" Windmill Farm." 81 acres in i8ai, then let to Mr. 
Phillips. In 1796, let to Wm. Neal. 

" Wadhams," at West Leaze. Said to have belonged to 
the founder of Wadham's College. 

" Watkens," on East side of High Street in 1580. At 
present unknown. ' . 

WiNCANTON Charter. 

Many a time has the Charter been a subje<5l of convers- 
ation, but what it precisely was, was a mystery ; when 
granted, by whom, and for what, nobody appeared to know. 
These points will now be cleared up, the mystery solved. It 
will be necessary to statCyihat in the year 1544 Stavordale 
Priory was dissolved. It is probable that Stavordale Fair 
then received a great blow, or ceased altogether for a time, 
though it continued, in name at least, centuries after. Be 
that as it may, the people of Wincanton made complaint of 
great poverty and asked (probably through their great towns- 
man, James Dier, afterwards Lord Chief Justice) for a 
charter granting two fairs annually and a market on every 
Wednesday. This was granted by Philip and Mary from 
their Court at Greenwich, on 17th March, 1556. This charter 
conferred certain rights, tolls, piccages and stallages to certain 
Trustees, which, now of little value, were then of considerable 
importance, and gave also a prestige to the town, which, 
sentimentally at least, was of advantage to the inhabitants. 
From that time till now the charter has been kept alive, with 
an occasional break, in consequence of falling into bad hands. 
I will give the dates of the renewals, with the names of each 
set of Trustees, or Feoffees as they are called. 

The first grant was made in the 2nd and 3rd Philip and 
Mary, to — 
' John Vyn3aige, William Churchey, 

George Churchey, William Churchey, junr., 

Thomas White, Richard Vyneing, 

George Banwell, John Glynn, 

Richard Young, Robert Saunders, 

inhabitants of the town, their heirs, &c^ In reciting this 
grant, in later grants, the name of William Vyninge is also 
given, but in the Record Office copy of the original there is 
no mention of the name of William Vyning, moreover, the 
number 'tennie' to whom the grant was made is complete 
without the said William Vyn3dng. 

The next grant was made in the 20th Elizabeth, 19th 
April, 1579, to— 

William Churchey the elder, William Churchey the younger, 
(only two survivors of the first charter,) 
John Ewens, Alexander Ewens, 


WiNCANTON Charter. 

Mathewe Ewens and Jerome Debien, gentlemen, 
William Smith, I?^" Vyneinge, 

John Plympton, Kichard Banwell, 

Edward Hinde, Robert Huson. 

After a few years, when only two of the Trustees were 
living} namely, Alexander Ewens and Edward Hinde, these 
two conveyed the right to their own heirs at law instead of 
appointing 'ten other good and lawful men, inhabitants of 
the town.' Accordingly on the nth July, 1635, Humfry 
Newman, Esq., James Churchey, merchant, Thomas Churchey 
the younger, mercer, Benjamin Lewis, gentleman, Henry 
Glynn, gentleman, Francis Plympton, John Vyneinge, Henry 
Glynn, infant, Richard Newman, infant, Ricnard Churchey, 
inrant, by Nicholas Plymton their guardian, took the matter 
into the High Court of Chancery, Barnabie Lewis the 
younger and William Swanton being the defendants. Lord 
Coventry was the judge, Sergeant Turner represented the 
complainants, and Sergeant Clarke the defendants. On the 
20th October, 1638, the case was heard and decided in favor 
of the plaintiffs, and the re-grant was made to them in 
accordance with their prajer. The first of these to die was 
Henry Glynn who died m July, 1642 ; the last, Richard 
Churchey who lived till 1697. 

The next appointment was on the 20th February, 1667. 
These were then the members of the trust — 

Richard Newman, Richard Churchey, 

Abraham Gapper, John Keene, 

William Lewis, IP^" K^^f 9 

Benjamin Lawis, Robert King, 

James Churchey, Humphrey Newman, 

ohn Keene, junr., William Ivy, junr. 

These remained in office until 170^, when a renewal took 
place at a cost of £iso> It is in La,tin and bears date i2tb 
December, 1705. Mr. William Day died between the date 
of application for, and the execution of, the deed. Of those 
who had served 42 years were — 

Robert King, William Lewis, 

John King, William Ivie. 

To them were now added — 
Christopher Farewell, Esq., Philip Bennett the elder, 
Thomas Hussey, James Lawrence Churchey, Esq., Philip 
Bennett the younger, James Churchey, gentleman, Thomas 
Churchey, gentleman, Thomas Gapper, gentleman, Abraham 
Gapper, gentleman, Richard Shepherd the elder, George 
Vining the younger, Francis Swanton, William Day, gentleman. 



This brought the number up to 17, but Mr. Day's death 
reduced the number to 16. Mr. Farewell was appointed 
Chairman ; Mr. Bennett, R^strar ; Mr. William Ivey and 
Captain Churchey, Surveyors * immediate.' As soon as they 
were in working order, the disastrous fire of 1707 occurred^ 
which kept their hands full and their coffers empty for about 
two years. 

On the J 2th 0<5lober, 1725, there being but five of them 
left, namely, Christopher Farewell of Holbrook, £sq.» 
Abraham Gapper of Balsome, Esq., William Ivey of 
Wincanton, merces, William Moore 01 Wincanton, clothier, 
George Vining of Wincanton, mercer, there were adcfed to 

Charles Gapper, John Glisson, 

John Gapper, William Moore, junr., 

William Clement, John Galley, 

Bartholomew Day, , William Plucknett, 

Bernard King, ' Benjamin Combes. 

Charles Lewys. 
In 17 years only 5 of these were left. 

On Odlober i8th, 1742, another appointment took place* 

The five old members were— 

Abraham Gapper, Esq., of Balsome, Sergeant-at-law, 
William Clement, John Glisson, 

Charles Lewis, William Moore. 

The new men were — 

Henry Gapper, Esq., Charles Ivie, 

Robert Gapper, Samuel Glisson, 

Thomas Gapper, Robert Combe, 

Benjamin Day, Simon Webb, 

fohn Brickenden, apothecary, John King, 
William Way, John Cross. 

Another re-grant was made on December 28th, 1765. The 
survivors at that period were — 

William Clement, who had served 40 years, 
Henry Gapper, ^jilliam Way, 

John Brickenden, Simon Webb. 

To whom were added — 

Nathaniel Webb, Thomas Brickenden, 

John Dalton, Richard Lewis, 

Samuel Farewell, I?^^ Deane, 

Nathaniel Ireson, Robert Gapper of Balsome^ 

Moulton Messiter, William Chaffey, 

Robert Perfedl, John Barrett. 


WiNCANTON Charter. 

Twenty-four years now passed before another set of 
Trustees were required. 

On September 19th, 1789, there were of the last set four 
remaining, namely — 

John Dalton, clerk, William Chaffey, gent, 

Robert Gapper, Esq., John Barrett, gent. 

The new men were — 
Nathaniel Dalton, Esq., William Webb, gentleman, 

Nathaniel Webb, Esq., Philip Pittman, gentleman, 

Robert Gapper, Esq., Robert Gapper, junr., gentleman, 

Samuel Farewell, clerk, Philip Hurd, gentleman, 

Richard Ring, gentleman, Robert Perfe(5l, surgeon, 
Richard Messiter, gentleman, Gerard Ellis, linen draper. 

It is, perhaps, worthy of notice that several of these 
gentlemen's whereabouts may be identified at present in the 
names of places which are also their surnames ; for instance, 
* Chafies,' * Barrett's hangings,' * Webb's Orchard,' 'Ring's 
drinking place,' ' Kurd's Mead,' whilst Mr. Pittman's name 
is on the only altar tomb in the church-yard. 

Thirty-four years passed, at which time the Trustees of 
Fairs and Markets, Poors' Lands, and Church Lands were 
united, on the ground of the interests of each being better 
served in this way. 

On 30th September, 1823, there were living of the last 
appointment — 

Nathaniel Dalton, Esq., Robert Gapper, gentleman, 

Richard Messiter, gentleman, Robert Pemdt, gentleman. 
To these were added — 

Uriah Messiter, gentleman, 

George Messiter, gentleman, 

Rev. Paul Leir, clerk, 

Richard Ring, gentleman, 

John Radford, clerk, 

James FendaU Hawkins, D.D. 

Thomas Lyddon Surrage, gentleman, 

Silas Blandford, gentleman, 

Richard Messiter, clerk, 

Thomas Aubrey Gapper, gentleman, 

George Messiter the younger, gentleman^ 

Henry Messiter, gentleman, 

Robert Combe, gentleman, 

George Baker, gentleman. 


WiNCANTON Charter. 

Fifty-four years elapsed before another change was made. 
The number had been for several years reduced to three, and 
two of those were non-resident, and all were old men. The 
Charity Commissioners were applied to and new names sub- 

On the i^th July, 1878, to the survivors — 
Richard Messiter, clerk, Stourton Caundle, 
Thomas Aubrey Gapper, Es(j., Tout Hill House, Wincanton, 
Henry Messiter, solicitor, Wmcanton, 
were added — 

Matthew Shackleton, Vicar of Wincanton, 

Herbert Messiter, Solicitor, 

Tames Bunter Colthurst, Surgeon, 

Edward Penny Trenchard, Gentleman, 

Robert Bath Wybrants, M.D., 

Thomas Richards, Ironmonger, 

James Richards, Audlioneer, 

Samuel Deane Sly, Wine Merchant, 

Charles John Shaw, Gentleman, 

Samuel Hine Longman, Draper, 

Albert George Perm an. School-master, 

George Sweetman, Bookseller, 
all of Wincanton. 
Only 13 years passed before the above number was so 
reduced that it becamp necessary to fill up the numbers once 
more. Nine had died and three had gone away so that it 
was difficult to form a quorum. Application was again made 
to the Charity Commissioners, to whom the whole of the 
accounts of the charities have to be rendered annually. The 
following names were submitted to the Commissioners, and 
they were approved of on the 22nd July, 1890. (Of this 
number, two only have since died.) 

Matthew Shackleton, Redlor of Beachingstoke, 

Edward Penny Trenchard, Forest Hill, Gentleman, 

R. B. Wybrants, M.D., Wincanton, 

Samuel Deanesly, Gentleman, 

Albert George Perman, School-master, 

George Sweetman, Bookseller, 
To whom were added — 

Philip Henry Bracher, Machinist, 

Alfred Edwards, Pamter, 

Thomas Green, Builder, 

William T. Goodfellow, Coach-builder, 

WiUiam Hannam, Grocer, 

George Lock, Butcher, 


WiNCANTON Charter. 

Charles Pocock, Seedsman, 
Henry Snook, Linen Draper, 
of whom 2 are dead, 3 are non-resident, 9 are still resident. 
The accounts of the Feoffees of the Fairs and Markets, 
from 1705 to the present time, have been carefully preserved. 
They show a variety of fortune and misfortune, and a 
gradually lessening income, and the whole of the accounts 
from 1789 are preserved also. What the sources of revenue 
are will be shown under the heading of 'Thb Local Charities.' 


The Borough of Wincanton. 

d^e ISorovjSJ^ of TOinrantott in l^t a^eijp 
of ^vem d^i^&fittb. 

In the reign of George the First there must have been a 
document in existence, showing who were the Burgesses of 
Wincanton in the reign of * Good Queen Bess,' but what has 
gone with it I am unable to say. Ransacking the box of the 
papers and books of the Feoffees, a few years ago, I found 
one of the most interesting pieces of history it has been my 
lot to discovet. It is written on Foolscap paper, bearing the 
watermark of George L It bears no date, but I believe it to 
be a copv of a document made in 1558, the first year of 
Elizabeth s reign, two years later than the charter to which I 
refer elsewhere. At that time, Sir James Dier was in the 
prime of life, he and his relatives being amongst the 
burgesses. I give the exadt wording and spelling. The 
word ' roueles ' is often used ; I take this to mean a house in 
ruins, or a piece of ground on which a house had stood. It 
is of great interest as showing the family names of that 
period, many of which remain to this day. There are also 
many place names which still remain, but there are very few 
places which can be clearly identified. Those having old 
deeds in their possession may be able to identify more of 
them than I have yet been able to do. Some future historian 
with the help here given may be able to delineate the old 
town better than I can. 

The Rents of all the burgages, lands holden by inherit- 
ance within the same borough in the year of our Sovereign 
Lady Elizabeth Queen &c. 

James Brice and William Williams^ a close within the 

The heirs oi Henry Williams holdeth to them and their heirs 
on burgage i8d now deceased lying in the East end of the 
Borough and one other burgage i2d in the South side of the 
High Street, and one half burgage called The Hart, and three 
quarters of a burgage gd in the North part of the High Street 
now occupied by Hugh Davage and his assigns, Total 3.9 
Also they pay more at Michaelmas yearly, for a corner 
stone lying near unto the Hart above said zd 


The Borough of Wincanton. 

Walter Gancy Richard Banwell, holdeth in fee half a 
burgage called Watkens lying in the East side of the South 
Street, now occupied by the said Hugh Davage and payeth 
yearly 6d 

Philip Strode^ J. Petvifts and N. Brown the heirs of Tohn 
Marshall holdeth in fee one burgage i8d now decaied, lying 
at the East end of the borough, and one burgage i2d builded, 
now occupied by John Vyning in the North side of the High 
Street 2s. 6d 

John Evansy gent, holdeth freely, one burgage i2d. in the 
South side of the High Street now occupied by John, and 
one burgage called Priors house in the North side of the High 
Street now occupied as a brewhouse by John Vyning 2*s 

The same John Evans holdeth freely one burgage I2d. in 
the North side of the High Street now occupied by John 
Haggitt. and one little house 2d in the North side of the same 
High Street, now occupied by Henry Woody and one burgage 
in the North side of the same High Street now occupied as 
a stable by Hugh Shudally another half burgage in the South 
side of the High Street, now occupied by Margaret Youngy 
widow. 2S 8d 

The sskinejohn Evans holdeth freely, one half burgage 6d. 
in the North side of the High Street, wherein he now inhab- 
iteth ; and one burgage 12'd. roueles, called Orchard lying in 
Hockey, now in his own occupation ; and one burgage I2d 
in the North side of the Church Street now occupied by Henry 
Keane, otherwise Mogg ; and one burgage I2d. in the South 
side of the Church street now occupied by William ThomaSy 
joiner 3s. 6d. 

Walter Tyte holdeth freely one burgage i2d newly builded 
in the South side of the High Street now in his own hands ; 
and one half burgage 6d roueles lying in the South side of 
the same High Street, now occupied by John Vyning. i8d 

The Queens' Majesty holdeth freely one burgage i8d in 
the North side of the Mill Street now occupied by Walter Tytey 
and one burgage i2d on the North side of the High Street, 
now occupied by Dorothy White widow, all which premises 
were found for the Queene as cancelled land, and therefore 
the said Tyte withholdeth the rent. 2s. 6.d. 

Paul Cheeke holdeth freely one half burgage roueles, 
lying near unto the mill, called the Rackhaies, whereof he 
withholdeth the rent supposing the same to ly out of the 
compass of the borough. 6d 


The Borough of Wincanton. 

John Hillard holdeth freely one tenement containing half 
a burgage and more in the South side of the High Street 
wherein he now inhabiteth and payeth yearly 8d 

Francis Pluchnett holdeth freely as in the right of Joan 
his wife one burgage i2d in the North side of the High Street 
wherein he now inhabiteth, and one half burgage 6d in the 
same North side of the High Street, now occupied by 
WiUiam HilUnge i8.d 

John Dynning (V3aiing ?) holdeth freely one burgage lad 
wherein he now inhabiteth in the North side of the High 
Street and one burgage i2d roueles, called the Breweme lying 
in the South side of the High Street, now in his own 
possession, and one little house 2d jn the same South side of 
the High Street, now occupied by Henry Orchard^ and one 
burgage called Makehouse in the South side of the High 
Street now occupied by John Gylman. 38. sd. 

Thomas Cheeke holdeth freely one little house in the South 
side of the High Street, now occupied by James Oliver 4d 

Jerom Gylman holdeth freely one tenement, roueles called 
Bristowes hayes, containing and (?) more, now in his own 
occupation 20.d 

Thomasine Chancekref widow, holdeth freely, one burgage,, 
in the South side of the High Street now occupied by ^ohn 
Stone I2d 

Alexander Dyer, holdeth frieely one burgage X2d in the 
South side of the High Street, now occupied by WiUiam 
Churchey surgeon, and two other burgages 2s to the same 
annexed roueles called Fidlers Hay, one house called ye 
mantle or bakehouse, to the same annexed, all which premises 
are now occupied by William Churchey 3s 4d. 

Edward BotweU holdeth freely in the right of Elizabeth 
his wife one burgage i2d in the North side of the High 
Street now in the occupation of the said Edward zad 

Henry Glynne holdeth in the right of Alice his wife, 
daughter of George Banwell, one burgage and half lying in the 
North side of the High Street now occupied by Hugh Davage 
in the right of Margot, his wife i8d 

Christian Gane, widow, late the wife of Walter Gane, 
holdeth freely, one half burgage roueles lying in the North 
part of the High Street now occupied by John Magges, 
Smith 6d 


The Borough op Wincanton. 

Christian Player, widow, holdeth freely one burgage in 
the North side of the High Street now occupied by Thomasim 
Ivey 1 2d. 

Janus Dytf, holdeth freely one messuage gd. containing 
three quarters of a burgage in the North side of the High 
Street, and one parcel of meadow ground called Francks 
Mead, i8d lying in Wincanton Moore, containing one acre 
or thereabout, all which premises be now occupied by yohn 
Iviy 2s. 8d 

John Vyning, the elder son of Robert Vyning deceased, 
holdeth freely one half burgage in the South side of the High 
Street wherein Hugh SkudaU now inhabiteth 6.d. 

Henry Glynne holdeth freely one burgage I2d. wherein he 
now inhabiteth in the North side of the High Street and one 
burgage lad roueles called the Pear Tree Close, to the said 
burgage' adjoining and now in his occupation, 2.s 

Ambrose Hannam, holdeth freely one burgage I2d. in the 
South side now occupied by William Tewkesbury i2d 

John Jenkins Junr son of William Jenkins holdeth freely one 
half burgage in the South side of the High Street, wherein 
William Jenkins his father now inhabiteth 6d 

Thomas Vyning, holdeth freely one burgage in the North 
side of the Mill Street wherein Joannah Vyning his mother 
now inhabiteth I2d. 

The Churchwardens of the parish of Wincanton holdeth 
freely to them and their successcHTs two burgages 2/- called 
the Churchhouse now occupied by John Evans gent and his 
assigns lying in the middle of the town there, and also a 
corner of the same house set out upon the Street there 2S. id 

William Churchey holdeth freely two burgages lying 
together in Shatter well Lane and now occupied by Robert 
Ludwell 2.S 

Jerome Dibben holdeth freely one burgage in the South side 
of Mill Street, now occupied by Elizabeth James, widow i2.d 

Simon Vyning holdeth freely one burgage wherein he now 
inhabiteth in the South side of the Mill Street i2d 

The Churchwardens of the parish of Wincanton holdeth 
freely to them and their successors to the use and reparition 
of the said church, one half burgage in the West side of the 
Mill Street wherein William Oldbere now inhabiteth by the 
assignment of Jerom Dibben tenant thereof 6d 


Thb Borough of Wincanton. 

John Hardymane holdeth freely one littlevhouse in the South 
side of the Mill Street now occupied by Robert Crockett 2d 

Lawrence Dyer gent holdeth freely two burgages 2/- 
annexed together in the South side of the Church Street 
wherein he now inhabiteth, one little house called Rousewell 
house in the North side of the Church Street in his own 
occupation one burgage 6d to the said little house adjoining 
being also as a yard, and one burgage and half i8d. in the 
North side of the Mill Street now occupied by Thomas 
Bourton 4s 4d 

The same Lawrence Dyer holdeth freely one burgage i2d 
in the North side of the Church Street called Culverhaies 
now roueles and now occupied by John Persons, and one other 
burgage i2d in the same North side of the Church Street 
now occupied by Thomas Noble 2.s 

Estow holdeth freely one burgage in the North side of 
the High Street now occupied by William Farley i2d 

Edward Wyneyarde, holdeth freely one burgage in the 
North side of the Mill Street, wherein he now inhabiteth i2d 

Richard Hinde holdeth freely one burgage in the North 
side of the Mill Street now occupied by Richard Robines 
otherwise Syms i2d. 

William Dibben, holdeth freely, one burgage lying in the 
West side of Mill Street now occupied by John Hardyman 
Sold to Agnes Vyning^ widow. i2d 

John Vyning, the younger son of Robert Vyning deceased 
holdeth freely one half burgage lying in the West side of the 
South Streiet now occupied by Philip Read. 6d 

John Vyning, the younger son of Alexander Vining, 
holdeth freely one messuage in the West side of the South 
Street, now occupied by John Mitchell 4d 

George Churchey, holdeth freely one messuage lod 
containing three quarters of a burgage and now occupied by 
John Davis in the West side of the South Street and one half 
burgage in the East side of the South Street now occupied by 
Ralph Lawrence all which premises William Chaffin gent holdetn 
in the right of his wife, during her life i6.d 

[The latter was the site where Stuckey*s Bank now stands.— G.S.] 

The heirs of John Houchines, holdeth freely one burgage 
in the West side of the South Street now occupied by 
Thomas Marsh i2.d 


Thb Borough ot> Wincanton. 

John Plimpton holdeth freely two burgages 2S annexed in 
the West side of the South Street wherein he now inhabiteth, 
and also paieth for a yate, going into the street, yearly at 
Michaelmas ^^^ ^ ^ Cooper's.) *«• '^ 

Lewes Plimpton holdeth freely one burgage lying in the 
West side of the South Street now occupied by Nicholas 
Swanton ^^^^ Gurney's.) "<* 

Alexander Vyning, holdeth freely one burgage and half, 
rouelesy called ' Stoke's Close ' lying in the Nortluside of Mill 
Street, now occupied by Nicholas Swanton i8d 

William Churchey the elder, holdeth freely one messuage 
2od in the East side of the South Street, wherein he now 
inhabiteth, and one burgage i2d roueles lying in the North 
side of the Mill Street, now occupied as an orchard by the 
same William and paieth yearly at Michaelmas for a yate 
into the street id 2.9 

(The South Street messuage is now Tout Hill House, 
and the Mill Street burgage part of the Congregational 
Church property.) 

Edward Vyning holdeth freely a quarter of a burgage, 
lying at Thornwell Lane in the East side of the South Street 
now occupied by Henry Vyning gd. 

(Here is an instance of the retention of a place name 
for three and half centuries. It was in the same family 
until a few years ago. It shows, too, that this property 
was within the bounds of the borough, which reached as 
far as Thornwell Lane.) 

Charles Zouche Esq and Robert Kemys holdeth freely one 
burgage i2d. roueles lying in the North side of the High 
Street now occupied as an orchard by John Hillard and one 
burgage I2d in the South side of the High Street, wherein 
John Orpitt now inhabiteth, and one half burgage roueles ih 
the North side of the High Street now occupied by William 
Hilling 2S. 6d 

The same Charles Zouch Esq and Robert Kemy'Sy holdeth 
freely one burgage I2d lying adjoyning to Petteshaies in the 
East side of the South Street, and one close of land 2S. 8d 
and pasture to the same adjoyning called Petteshaies, con- 
taining three yards, all which premises Robert Ludwell now 
occupieth 3s. 8d. 

(Now the Carmelite Monastery ?) 


The Borough of Wincanton. 

The same Charles Zouch and Robert Kemys, holdeth freely 
one burgage and half, whereupon a bam and a stable is now 
builded, lying in the West side of the South Street which 
Robert Plimpton, now holdeth by copy i.s. 8d 

Nicholas Swanton and Walter Tyte, do pay yearly in the 
name of the Borough for ye shambles in the Market Place i2d." 

(For further particulars of Robert Kemys and Nicholas 
Swanton, see renewal of charter in 1638.) 


St. Eligius and the Parish Church. 

SU 2Bllo:ltt0 ann ^t ^avi^^ e^uttf^^ 

In the new porch on the North side of the church is an 
oolitic stone, probably from Doulting quarries, on which is 
some very workmanlike carving, representing a medieval 
legend, which possesses considerable interest, and gives room 
for no end of speculation. When the old church was being 
taken down, this stone was found lying on its face m the wall 
of the South aisle, where it had lain from the time of the 
rebuilding of that aisle in 1735. It had been defaced, either 
at the building of the aisle or perhaps in the days of the 
Puritans, but where it had been until that time there is 
nothing to inform us. It represents a blacksmith's forge and 
water trough, with a chimney tapering to the top, on which 
IS carved a pair of tongs and what has been called a chalice, 
but in appearance is more like a beer glass or a mason's 
lewis. On the left side is a mitred bishop standing with a 
horse's leg in his hands with the foot resting on an anvil. At 
the foot of the bishop kneels a man evidently entreating the 
bishop to do something for him. On the right hand is a 
horse or ass, minus one leg, which leg presumably the 
bishop is holding. Behind the animal is an attendant. 
There is a rope by which the animal is fastened to the 
forge. At some time it had some colored wash over it, and 
in portions it had been blackened to make it more realistic. 
It measures about two feet each way. There was very little 
of the old church worthy of preservation ; happily, however, 
this was preserved, and put in its present position when the 
porch was completed. A picture of this carving with notes 
thereon appears in one of the volumes of the " Somerset and 
Dorset Notes and Queries." 

As was natural, at first it was thought to be a memorial 
to our Somerset Saint />ar excellence, Dunstan, and some people 
still cling to that opinion. Without doubt, however, it refers 
to St. Eligius, St. Eloy or St. Loyes as he is variously des- 

For the sake of the uninitiated I will give a very abridged 
account of this French Saint from a very elaborate corres- 
pondence with the Rev. Ignatius Grant, a well-known Jesuit 
father, who was at the end of the year 1888, at Trenchard 
Street, Bristol. He took great pams to authenticate his 


St. Eligius and the Parish Church. 

statements by visits to Edinburgh, Noyon and elsewhere. 
Writing of Eligius, he says — 

*' He is supposed to have worked in iron, silver and gold, 
before his elevation to the see of Noyon, in the time of Clovis 
II., A.D. 605, of Pepin and Charles Martel. He is univers- 
ally represented with the attributes and emblems mentioned. 
The incident of the horseshoe fastened to the foot of the 
horse whose leg has been severed from his body is a popular 
legend all through France and Germany. The rood screen. 
Potter Heigham Church, has the same. The rood screen 
Hemel Hempstead, Herts, has a bishop with hammer in one 
hand and hoof of horse in the other." He then refers to 
a similar relic at St. Giles, Edinburgh, and he enquires if 
there is not another example at Durweston Church ? I there- 
upon went to Durweston and found the same legend pidlured 
on a tablet there, but it is not so good a piece of work as 
that in our parish church. 

Father Grant then set himself to discover what connexion 
there was between St. Eloy and Wincanton, and on this 
point he gives testimony from Devonshire, Leicestershire, 
Rutlandshire, Lancashire, and several other counties to 
show that probably we are indebted to the Ferrars family for 
the carving. Norton Ferris, to which hundred Wincanton 
belongs, derived its name from this family. The first of the 
family was Ferrieres, Lord Marshal of England, who came 
with the Conqueror. He and his descendants have always 
borne the same insignia and device on their arms — a horse- 
shoe. The family ot the Ferrars were great possessors of 
lands which were all lost by the revolt of Robert Fenrars» 
earl of Derby, id the time of Henry the third. He ends by 
saying — <* I have only to add that the dead and forgotten 
Bishop of Noyon, whom nobody knows at Wincanton, is 
still a living power and patron in his own diocese at Noyon> 
and that I, who write this letter, made a pilgrimage thither 
on the 2nd of July, this year 1888, and found that the great 
cathedral was full of goldsmiths and blacksmiths who hear 
mass, by obligation and the rules of the guild, on his feast 
day, vespers on the vigil, high mass on the feast day, and 
mass for the repose of the dead on the following day at ten 
o'clock. I have no doubt but that in the olden time and in 
the 'Ages of Faith,' his feast was kept in the same way by 
the antique family of the Ferrars of Wincanton." 

There does not appear to be any doubt that the carving 
is to the memory of Eligius, but its connedlion with 
Wincanton is not so clear. If to be traced to the Ferrars 


St. Eligius and thb Parish Church. 

family there is every probability that it was put in the church 
or on the premises before 15411 when the estates in this 
neighbourhood passed from the Ferrars to the Stourton 
family. I venture to suggest that its original position was in 
an old chapel belonging to the church, and which, we learn 
incidentally from the will of John Dyer of Roundhill, 1597, 
once stood there, and which was probabl3r dedicated to St. 
Eligius. This, of course, is only 'drawing a bow at a 
venture.' That this Saint was not the patron Saint of the 
church itself is shown in the will of another John Dyer, a 
century before, who expressly refers to the church of the 
blessed Peter and Paul. In the large East window of the 
church which represents the < Te Deum," the figure cf Eligius 
is brought in. Just one other suggestion. From early times, 
workers in the precious metals have lived here : it may be, 
therefore, one of them who had the carving done to perpetuate 
the memory of the patron saint of his craft. 

** After that he was born, this child grew in virtue : and 
his father set him to goldsmith's craft : and when he knew 
well the craft and art of goldsmithery, he came into France 
and dwelt with a goldsmith that made work for the king.*' 

Caxton — Golden Legend. 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

antlitdititon ^mti^^ €^utt^* 

Notwithstanding the violent opposition shown to the 
Christian religion on one side and the careless indifference or 
bare profession on the other, from its institution by its. 
Divine founder until now it has never died out. In Britain^ 
the fragments of Saxon and Norman, and the grand examples 
of medieval churches bear strong testimony to its vitality.. 
Regarded from an archite(5lural point of view alone, how 
much poorer we should be if there were no cathedrals or 
parish churches. Frequently even now in thousands of 
villages there are no buildings of interest save the parish 
church, and often the only history of the parish is that of the 
church. There, have the inhabitants received their names 
in baptism : there, have been celebrated the beginnings of 
new family life in marriage : and there, the last rites have 
been solemnized. There, too, are the only records of 
those who have here fulfilled their social and religious 
duties and passed away. In the building of these 
thousands of churches it may be said, at least in some cases,, 
that * The people gave willingly.' More often, perhaps, the 
rich gave of their wealth to build or endow a church, where 
daily prayers might be said * for the good of their souls,' or ta 
show their gratitude for blessings received or dangers 

Previous to 1735 ^^^ parish church was undoubtedly 
small, but when the first church was built there is nothing to- 
show. In the year 1278 there is a record amongst the Patent 
Rolls, of the 'appointment of Walter de Wimbome and 
Thomas de S. Vigon to take the jury arraigned by Hugh 
Luvel against William de Bath, parson of the chapel of St» 
Andrew of Marsh, touching a messuage and land at 
Wincanton. In 1328, Lord Richard Lovel presented 
Robert de Cranthome to the chapel of Marsh Lovel Court* 
There was also after 1263, no doubt, provision for public 
worship at Stavordale. It may be inferred that if the spiritual 
welfare of those who lived on the borders of the parish was 
cared for, those who lived at the centre were not negledl- 
ed. Probably there was a Saxon church on or near the 
site of the present one. The stone carving in the South 
porch indicates an early period, and experts, when examining 


VVjncanton Parish Church. 

the church in 1871, said that there were traces of 13th 
century work in the tower. In rebuilding the church, there 
were signs of an old roof against the tower, indicating 
quite a small building. The old font found in the base of 
one of the columns was probably 13th century also. 

But to leave conjecture and come to facfls. There is a 
distindl allusion to the church of S.S. Peter and Paul in an 
inquisition taken m 1344. In the year 1500, on January 26, 
John Vyning, otherwise Dyer of Wyncalton, made his will, 
m which he bequeathed his body to be buried in the church 
of the blessed Peter and Paul of Wyncalton, and he gave 
/lo towards the shegyng (seating ?) the church of Wyncalton. 
He also gives 60s. to the edifying of the North yle of the 
same church. The allusion here is brief but very suggestive. 

On the 15th September, 1523, Richard Dyer, the father 
of James Dyer the Lord Chief Justice, made his will, in 
which he expresses his wish to be buried in Wyncaulton 
church by his wife, that is his first wife Johane, his second 
wife Elizabeth survived him. He also orders that there be 
* penny dole at his burying,' and every priest to have 8d. 

In 1552, legend tells us that the sweating sickness 
carried oflf so many by death that they were buried wholesale 
with their clothes on ; and when the wall on the West 
side was built in 1818, fragments of the clothing were found 
with other evidence of disorderly burial. 

In 1559, John Dyer, elder brother of the Judge, made 
his will, in which he orders that his body be 'buried in 
Wincalton church before the quyer door, near the grave of my 
father and mother, and if I die in this parish, that the poorest 
householders have ^i - 6 - 8.' 

In 1594, Jane Dyer, widow of John Dyer of Roundhill, 
made her will. She was then living at Bratton St. Maur, but 
willed to be buried at Wincanton near her last husband, 
John Dier, her former husband being a Mr. Byfleet. 

No doubt that on her death about two years later she was 
buried there, inasmuch as her son, John Dyer, who succeeded 
his father at Roundhill, in making his will which was proved 
in 1597, after saying — *I bequeathe my poor sillye (innocent) 
soul to the Lorde Jhesus Christe, my redeemer,' goes on to ex- 
press the wish that his body ' be buried in the chuxchyard of 
Wincanton, in the same place where my own mother was 
buried, being near unto an old chapel which did once stand 
there.' Here we have an allusion to an old building which 
fell into ruin over 300 years a^o. 

These are not the only mstances of pre-register burials, 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

for in 1540, Richard Beky (modem Bacon) of Wyncalton, in 
his will, directs that his body be buryed in the churchvearde of 
Wynecanton, He appointed " John Dyer, alias Vining," his 
executor, and it is shown incidentally that the curate at that 
date was Sir Richard Smith. 

Two years later, Robert Hine of Wyncaunton gave by 
his will 20/- to the church of Wyncalton, and directs that his 
body be buried in the churchyeard. John Dyer was his 
executor, and Sir Richard Smith a witness to his will. 

In 1647, we find in the will of Mr. Bamabie Lewis, a 
well known townsman of that time, a reference to a pre-Ireson 
chancel. He directs that his body be buried in the S.E. end 
of the chancel. Although I can nnd allusions to this gentle- 
man in 1623 and 1639, I believe he is not alluded to in the P.R. 
as having been buried either in the church or churchyard. 

In October, 1700, Abraham Gapper gave instruction in 
his will that his body should be buried in the church, in a vault. 
Three months later he was so buried. This vault, belonging 
to the family, was filled in when the new church was built. 
This reminds me that one of the old sextons told me of a 
fimeral of one of the Gapper family, who died in London, 
whose coffin many years after was found to contain bricks and 
shavings instead of a skeleton. 

One wonders how many ''mute inglorious Miltons" lie 
buried in the 3170 yards of land in the churchyard ! Taking 
the avere^e burials per annum as 25, from 131 3 to 1886, when 
the graveyard was closed, we have 14,325. We have at least 
six burials in every grave. Their only record is in the parish 
register, and those only since 1636. What a blow to the 
vanity of those who would lord it over the soil and over their 
fellows, during their short period here ! 

Before the year 1735, the main entrance appears to have • 
been at the West end through the tower. There was, judging 
by the size of the arch, a choir of considerable dimensions, 
reached by several steps. There were neither rood loft door, 
hagioscope nor piscina. No trace of the old chancel itself was 
left after its rebuilding in 1748, and it is difficult to realize 
what it was like. There was a small crypt underneath. A 
North yle was mentioned in 1500, the presumption, therefore, 
is that there was a South aisle as well. They were both 
narrow, however, inasmuch as after enlargement they were not 
wide. There was no clerestory till 1748. Over a porch on 
the North was a small gallery, which was taken down to 
make a larger one. Another gallery called the "Gapper 
gallery " on the South, which was reached by stone stepis on 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

the outside. The tower has been evidently re-built, as the 
mixture of the stone therein shows, part being of local stone 
and part of green sandstone, the mixture of the latter indicating 
the same period as the building of the arcades in the church, 
and which before the re-building were also of green stone. In 
1735, the South aisle was re-built, as the tablet outside that 
porch shows. Before that time there were 4 bells only, and a 
clock. One of the bells, being ' craizd,' was recast, and a fifth 
bell added. In 1748, the clerestory was added, the chancel 
builded and given by Nathaniel Ireson, and the church through- 
out decorated. 

In 1791, Collinson, referring to the church as restored by 
Ireson, said, " It is plain without, but very handsome within ; 
the chancel having been re-built and the church new roofed 
and windowed in the year 1748. It is 92 feet in length and 52 
in breadth, consisting of a nave, chancel. North and South 
aisles, all except the chancel covered with lead. At the West 
end is a plain square tower containing a clock and five bells." 
For a fuller account of the church the reader is referred to 
" Wincanton Memorials." 

In 1793, the tower was raised 12 feet, making it ^o feet 
high. At that time the five bells were re-cast and a sixth 
added. The sixth bell weighs 17 cwt. They are all inscribed, 
'< Robert and James Wells, Aldboume fecit ; John Carpenter 
and James Lintom, Churchwardens." 

In 1 810, there were other alterations effected which were 
paid for by a special rate. Amongst other payments in that 
year was £"29 for velvet pulpit cloth and cushion. A new 
surplice cost £\'T'2. In 181 2, £1^ was paid to Admiral 
Goldesborough for his pew, which projected on the North side 
into the churchyard, and ' caused much damage to the church." 
I may explain that to raise money for improvements pews were 
sold for a term of years. This fifteen pounds was for unex> 
hausted rights. 

The churchyard required enlargement and enclosure, and 
this work was begun in 181 8. The churchyard wall was built ; 
the bill for freestone was over ;^ioo. The iron gates, palings, 
and lamp cost another ;^i26- 17, the total outlay being over 
;^500, the balance against the church being ;^23i - 9 - 2f , the 
interest on this borrowed sum being ;^9-i8-6. By heavy 
rates the balance had been reduced in 1825 to /81-14-3. 
In the same year an organ was purchased, costing 400 guineas, 
the money was raised by subscriptions. The organist was 
paid by being allowed to live in a house, the property of the 
church Trustees, rent free. Until this time the churchyard 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

was practically unenclosed. The game of fives was played 
against the walls, and when the bsdls lodged on the le^s the 
players climbed to get them down, and their footmarks are to 
be seen on the stonework of the South porch to this day. 

In 1828, the South gallery was again enlarged, Mr. Uriah 
Pond being the workman. The pulpit was also removed and 
"new seats were erected on the scite thereof." The work was 
continued in 1829 ; the new North gallery was erected and the 
South gallery re-arranged. The cost was heavy. Amongst 
other items were the faculty which cost 12 guineas, and crimson 
curtains for the singing gallery ;f 20-16. Pews were again sold 
to the highest bidder. Notwithstanding this novel way of 
raising the wind, at the Easter vestry in 1830 there was a 
deficiency of /i 89-0-7. 

In 1835, a special effort was made to put the finances on 
a right footing. A rate was levied, and with the addition of 
;^6o from the church Trustees the balance was reduced to 

The church was still in bad repair, and at a vestry held 
on May 7th, it was proposed, with the strong support of the 
Rev. Wm. Carpendale, to raise a rate for the purpose. On 
this, Mr. Edwin Deane, who for three years had been church- 
warden, resigned. Another vestry was held on May 23rd, 
when the proposed rate was abandoned in favour of voluntary 
subscriptions. Little or nothing was done, and in 1837, on 
October 26th, a vestry was called ; 150 people were present. It 
was resolved to have a rate of 6d. in the £, 22 voted against 
it, at least 100 for it. The rate was enforced ; several dissenters 
had their goods seized and sold in the market place. The 
whole affair, however, was obnoxious to many churchpeople as 
well as to dissenters. Mr. Carpendale died and Rev. H. Collins 
became incumbent, and gradually the commotion ceased. The 
new churchwardens were men of peace. In 1840, Mr. James 
Baker became churchwarden and he disliked to enforce a rate 
on unwilling people. He continued in office till 1869, having 
served 29 years. 

Mr. Baker considered the church unsafe, the columns 
were giving way. He had a new one erected at his own 
expense. They were all in bad condition, but the money could 
not then be raised to build new ones. The chancel arch was 
removed but remained in ruin for a long time, as no agreement 
could be arrived at as to what to do with it. The galleries were 
but a makeshift ; they were inconvenient, and sometimes there 
were unseemly contests as to who should sit in the best seats. 
The church was draughty, cold and ugly ; the choir was at the 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

tower end ; the vestry, such as it was, beneath the choir. 
Finally, every one was out of heart with the whole business, 
when, as with the wand of an enchanter, a complete change 
came. Some accoimt of this must be given. 

In 1884, the Rev. Richard Nicholson became vicar, and 
immediately set himself to improve the fabric of the church, 
as well as the services and the parish work. On the 5th Feb., 
1885, he called a vestry at the church. So many attended 
that an adjournment to the Foresters* Hall was necessary. He 
presented a report which had been prepared by Mr. Pouting, 
architect for the Salisbury diocese. The estimate for the 
proposed'alterations was ;^,300, but he himself favoured a plan 
proposed by Mr. Sedding, the Bath and Wells diocesan architect. 
Mr. Nicholson said, "The church is capable of being 
restored so as to be a thing of beauty, instead of being, as it 
is, the ugliest church in the diocese." He moved the following 
resolution — '* That the condition of the church, both as regards 
beauty and convenience and its suitability for its sacred purpose 
as the temple of God, calls for a thorough and immediate 
restoration." Mr. Langhome, who was then as he is at the 
time of writing, one of the churchwardens, seconded ; the 
resolution was then put and carried. 

A large and influential committee was appointed, and 
subscription lists opened at the Somersetshire and Wilts & 
Dorset banks. Mr. Nicholson was an enthusiastic reformer, 
and he was courageously supported by the churchwardens, 
Messrs. Langhome and Fowler. Alas ! however, for the 
uncertainty of human life. Mr. Nicholson was taken ill, and 
died on September 30th, 1885, at the comparatively early age 
of 58. His memorial is in the churchyard, placed there 
by the " district visitors and other parishioners," but he still 
lives in the memories of those who knew him best. 

At this point I may be allowed, perhaps, to make a 
personal allusion. In January, 1885, Mr. Nicholson inaugur- 
ated a Parish Magazine which, happily, has been continued 
until now. In the introduction, hesaid, ** Should this Magazine 
meet with the support which it merits, I hope in future issues 
to put on record other matters of interest to the parishioners 
of Wincanton, such as an account of the charities, and, 
perhaps, if I can find a local historian, a history of the church 
and parish." 

What Mr. Nicholson desired is here attempted. There 
will be no reader more conscious of the defects of this attempt 
than the writer himself. 

On the 17th January, 1886, the Rev. Colin Grant-Dalton, 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

M.A.y having been presented to the living, read himself in** 
Apparently, everything was in his favour : youth and christian 
2^, family position, and an income greatly augmented through 
the restoration of the tithes, by the l^eficence of the late Miss 
Chafyn Grove. 

The committee at that time were — Rev. Canon Yeatman 
(the Joint Patron, now Bishop of Southwark), Rev, Colin Grant* 
Dalton, Messrs. W.B. Langhome, F.T. Fowler, churchwardens, 
A. T. Bennett, Robert Green, Thomas Green, R. R. Hutchings, 
Alfred Edwards, Wm. Newman, J. B. Amor, George Stagg, 
Wm. Galpin, S. Bamford, James Richards, £. P. Trenchard, 
W. T. GoodfeUow, Henry Snook, A. G. Knight, George Lock, 
R. B. Wybrants, G. H. Cooper, Dr. Howard, Dr. Roe, 
Dr. Scallon, and R. H. Hoyle. Of these, eleven are either 
dead or have left the neighbourhood. 

The following was Mr. Sedding's report as to the church 
before the " Restoration," although, with the exception of the 
tower, every part has been re-built. 

*'The building has nave, chancel, north and south aisles 
to the nave and western tower. The nave arcades are of two 
periods of the 14th century. The west tower is also of this 
date ; so, too, are the responds of the chancel arch, although 
the arch itself is of 15th century date. The west window and 
the angle buttresses of the tower are of early perpendicular 
character. Up to the eighteenth centurv» the church seems 
to have retained its old proportions. Owing to the growth 
and increased proportions of the place the building was, 
however, enlarged by the substitution of very wide aisles, in 
place of the narrow aisles which previously existed. The 
south aisle was added in 1735, and the north aisle in 1838. At 
the first named date the old nave roof was removed, and the 
roof was lifted up several feet, and the present flat ceiling and 
clerestory windows were introduced. The old chancel was 
re-built by Ireson in 1748. While giving all praise to those 
who carried out the extensions of the church, I am bound to say 
that the excellence of their intentions did not ensure excellent 
results. In fact, I suppose, that nothing more ugly, more ill 
judged, or disastrous to the appearance and convenience of the 
church could well be conceived than that which was then accom- 
plished. Here is a nave less than fifty feet long, stretched across 
by aisles, which are each actually wider than the nave itself, until 
the church is ten feet more in width than in length, and to 
make matters worse these aisles have galleries holding six 
rows deep, while the school children are stowed away in the 
remotest recesses in the galleries, far from sight and sound of 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

the ministers. In order to illustrate the practical objections 
to these galleries it may be noted that the floor of the front 
rows is only six feet ten inches from the highest point of the 
nave arches. The church has the credit of being capable of 
accommodating over a thousand worshippers, but this state- 
ment I venture to say is a mere figure of speech, for not half 
that number can see and hear what is going on. To sit down 
in pews, many of which are only two feet three inches from 
centre to centre, is highly inconvenient, and to kneel down in 
such pews is a physical impossibility. Nay, if attending divine 
service could ever be accounted a meritorious act, I know of 
no building where the powers of human endurance are put to 
more strain than in the pews of Wincanton church. 

The church is suffering much from damp, and the floors 
are in a very wet state. This is caused by the injudicious 
raising of the soil at the east end of the building in order to 
suit the level of the drive into the churchyard. The nave 
arcades were evidently re-built when the church was altered, 
and they are in a good state. 

The construction of the nave roof is very faulty, and it 
has been found necessary to add iron cradles to support the 
roof. The west tower, which is only ten feet square, internal 
measurement, is naturally altogether swamped and disfigured 
by the bulky modem aisles ; nor, under the present condition 
of things, does the additional belfry stage, built a few years 
past, do anything to redeem the defect, the added height only 
exaggerates the ill proportions, and gives the look of a turret 
rather than a tower." 

Such was the indictment to which it was impossible to 
-plead *not guilty.' On Tuesday, 24th February, Mr. Sedding 
met the committee, submitted his plans, and stated that to carry 
out these plans ;^59000 would be required. In the Parish 
Magazine for March, 1885, are these words of the Editor — 
**May God speed the work and grant the willing mind to 
prepare to build an house for His holy name.' " 

By the first of June, subscriptions had been promised of 
over ;f 1400, including ;f 500 from Miss Chafyn Grove, Mr. T. A. 
Gapper ;f 250, four sums of £y>y four of £^0^ five of £2^, and 
others ranging from ;^20 to ;^io. Thus encouraged, the com- 
mittee set to work in earnest. In the same month a bazaar 
was held, from the profits of which over ;^25o was added to 
the Restoration Fund, and Mrs. Sowler had contributed ;^5oo. 
The corner stone was laid by Miss Chafyn Grove on August 
nth, 1887. 

The consecration of the church by Bishop Hervey took 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

place on Thursday, August 15th, 1889. I prefer, before any 
words of mine, the account given by our late beloved rector 
in the Parish Magazine for the following September, especially 
as his voice, once so feuniliar and so welcome, has long been 
hushed. Let this be, at least, one of his memorials. 

" WiNCANTON. — The consecration of the new church took 
place on August 15th. The building which it succeeds belonged 
to the 1 2th or 13th century, but had been added to, altered, 
galleried, and plastered, till it was said to be one of the ugliest 
churches in the Diocese. The last service in the old church 
was held June 14th, 1887, ^^^ ^^^ corner-stone of the new 
building was laid by Miss Chafyn Grove, on August nth, and. 
it has now been completed at a cost of ;f 6,500, towards which 
Miss Grove and Mrs. Sowler each gave ;f 1,000 and other 
subsequent gifts ; the Rev. C. Grant-Dalton and the late Mr. 
Gapper ;f 250 each, a bazaar realized ;f 250 ; and the Diocesan 
Societies gave ;^2oo ; and there were many other smaller 
amounts. Miss Grove also gave the chalice and paten, and 
half the cost of the choir stalls, ;f 175 ; and Mrs. Sowler the 
organ. The Rector gave the altar, and Mrs. Dalton the altar 
cross. Other gifts include a fine linen altar cloth from Mrs. 
Langhome ; altar service books, Miss Masters and servants at 
South Bank ; lectern, Mrs. Selwyn ; mat for altar rails. Miss 
Barry ; prayer books, Mr. Amor ; book markers, Mrs. 
Wybrants ; fiag-stafF, Messrs. T. Green, W. Goodfellow, and 
A. Edwards, &c. The bells have been thoroughly re-hung by 
Messrs. Llewellin & James, of Bristol, and a coloured window 
placed in the tower by Mrs. Shaw as a memorial to her husband. 
The new church is said to be the largest and handsomest built 
in the diocese since the Restoration, and the services have 
been in keeping with the occasion. These commenced with a 
celebration in the temporary church, and shortly before 11 a 
very large number of the neighbouring clergy, with the choir, 
building committee. Archdeacon, Chancellor, and Bishop 
formed a procession and entered the church to the hymn 
** Saviour, blessed Saviour," then followed Psalm xxiv., and 
the consecration service, the deed being read by the Chancellor 
and signed by the Bishop. Matins and celebration followed, 
and the Bishop preached on Luke xix., 46 : "My house shall 
be called a house of prayer." The church was crowded to its 
utmost capacity. After the service a public luncheon was held 
in the Town-hall, Chancellor Rogers being in the chair. The 
Bishop was unfortunately obliged to leave. There was a numer- 
ously attended garden party given by the Rector in the after- 
noon, and in the evening the preacher was the Dean of Wells. 


w s 

H 'I 


O ^ 

WiNCANTon Parish Church. 

Other preachers during the octave were : i6th, Rev. E. H. 
Jones (Stogumber) ; i8th, Rev. Charles Gore (Pusey House) ; 
and Canon Inman (Gillingham) ; 19th, Preb. Gibson (Wells) ; 
20th, Rev. H. Hanbury-Tracy (Frome) ; 21st, Rev. T. B. 
Dover (St. Agnes, Kennington) ; 22nd, (Sunday school treat), 
Preb. Roe (YeovUton)/' 

The contractor was Mr. Vallis of Frome, the amount 
;f 4,307 ; the whole cost, however, was ;f 5,658 for the building 
alone, of which sum £^9150 was promised by the day of 
opening. The balance sheet issued in October, 1890, showed 
that ;^6o76*8-5 had been expended. 

The Balance Sheet gave details as to the whole of the 
subscriptions. Amongst the sums of ;^20 and over were — 

;^ s. d. £ 8. d. 

Mr. Bailward ... 70 o o Messrs. Hutchings 

Bazaar 252 on & Son 55 5 o 

Mr. Wm. Bennett 21 11 o In Memoriam ... 50 o o 
Mr. E. Y. Cooper 52 2 o Interest on Bank ) «q 
Mr. W. E. Cooper 26 i o Balances ... / ^^^ " ° 
Rev. S. Dendy ... 27 o o Mr. Langhome ...105 o o 

Mr. Digby 25 o o Mr. John Messiter 26 i o 

Diocesan Church ) Offertories 224 o 7 

Building Fund | 230 o o p^o^^eds of \ ey a a 

Mr. T. M.Dodington 25 o o Concerts/ 57 9 4 

Miss Doel 20 o o Sale of old l 00 tt 

Mr. F. T. Fowkr 42 2 o material/ ^" ® 

Mr. T. A. Gapper 500 o o Mrs. Sowler ...1000 o o 

355 o o 

Col. Sowler ... 20 o o 
Stuckey's I 01. ^ ^ 

Backing Co. f ^5 o o 

Rev. Colin Grant- 

Mr. D. F. Grant- 

Dalton ... j- o- - - Mr. E. P. Tren- ) 
Mr. Robert Green 21 10 chard ... j ^ 

Miss Green 21 o o Dr. Wybrants ... 25 o o 

MissChafyn Grove 1475 o o Canon Yeatman... 50 o o 

The dimensions of the new church are East to West, 96 
feet ; North to South, 62 feet ; and sitting room for 699 persons. 
It is so arranged that every one can see the preacher, and 
therefore totally unlike the old church. 

The following are the chief points of interest. The beau- 
tifully carved North porch, with statues of S.S. Peter and Paul, 
to which saints the church was centuries ago dedicated. The 
central figure represents our Lord. There are emblems of the 
Passion, Fall, and Redemption. There are also the mono- 
gram and arms of the late Miss Chafyn Grove. 

Within the same porch is the medievad carving represent- 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

ing St. Eligius or Eloy, happily rescued from oblivion when 
the south aisle was taken down, having been used as a building 
stone in 1735, but probably defaced a century before. It 
represents a smith's shop ; a mitred figure, namely, Eligius, the 
patron of smiths. Bishop of Noyon early in the 9th 
century ; the suppliant, a gentleman whose favorite horse had 
lost a leg, and who had come to the bishop to perform a miracle 
by putting it on again, The bishop holds in his hands the leg, 
or another which he had forged on the anyil before him ; and 
an attendant looking on. 

Who was the carver, or the donor, or what its age, must 
be a matter of conjecture. The handsome window in the 
chancel represents the Te Deum, Si. Eligius appears amongst 
the saints. It was the work of Messrs. Clayton and Bell, the 
latter being a native of Silton, where he took his first lessons 
in drawing. The window was the gift of Mrs. Sowler. 

The East window in the morning chapel, representing the 
Resurrection, was also given by Mrs. Sowler. 

The South window of the morning chapel is a memorial to 
the late Rev. Colin Grant-Dalton, given by the parishioners. 

Another window in the South aisle commemorates Mr. 

iohn Goodfellow, for many years organist of the church, 
^his was the gift of his son, Mr. Tewkesbury Goodfellow, of 

The window in the tower was the first colored glass in the 
church, at any rate since 1735, and is to the memory of Mr 
C. J. Shaw, who was churchwarden of the parish for several 
years, and superintendent of the sunday school. 

The font was the gift of Mr. C. R. Shepherd, a few years 
before the re-building of the church. The former one was 
simply a basin on an msignificant wood column. 

The organ was the gift of Mrs. Sowler, the mother-in-law 
of the Rev. Colin Grant-Dalton. 

The lectern was given by Mrs. Selwyn as a memorial of 
her husband. Vice- Admiral Selwyn. 

The chalice, paten, candlesticks, and half the choir stalls, 
were given by Miss Chafyn Grove. 

The altar was the gift of Rev. Colin Grant-Dalton. 

The altar cross, curtains, and altar desk, by Mrs. Colin 

The embroidered altar cloth by Mrs. Langhorne. 

The oak faldstool by Mrs. A. J. Bennett. 

The memorial tablets have all been reinstated as near as 
convenient to their original places. 

The accounts of the charities belonging to the church are 


WiNCANTON Parish Church. 

set forth on boards on the walls of the tower. 

The church is always open by day, and daily services are 
held. The churchyard is free to pedestrians, and very seldom 
has there been occasion given to the churchwardens to regret 
the liberty thus allowed. 

Many generations probably will pass away before the 
church requires so much done as has been done since 1887. 


WmcANtcw Church Clergy. 

ItHncanton Cl^urct^ Cler^v* 

'" Wes/ver's Somerset Incumbeftts," that all but ln«xhaast- 
ible mine of parish church history, is almost blank as to this 
parish ; elsewhere it is only a few scraps one is able to discover. 
Necessarily, therefore, this section will be "a thing of 
shreds and patches." One must piece out the pattern as well 
as one can. The early ecclesiastical history of the parish is 
very obscure. Bishop Hobhouse says, " The church may be 
assumed to have existed from Saxon times, though not men- 
tioned in any extant document till 129 1-2, viz., in the valuation 
of Pope Nicholas. The benefice was then classed as a rectory 
worth £S. It was doubtless in the patronage of the Lovels. 
At some time before 1263, ^"^ probably in the previous century, 
the Lovels founded at Stavordale, within their manor, a small 
brotherhood of black canons of the order of St. Augustine and 
of the rule of St. Victor." 

The incumfeei^s •appointed by the Priory of Stavordale are 
given in Somerset Incumbents -as William de *£ssex. In 1330, 
John Bryan, Who 'Was still living in 1374. In I449, William 
Edward, Stephen Ysaac, 'Richard Heyne. 

In AID. 1500, 7ohn fining, alias T)yer, appears to have 
been the -patron t>f ^the living, and in hts-willof that-daterefers 
to Sir John Aynell as his curate. 

In 1532, Stavordale >=Priory, "being too poor to stand alone, 
was annexed to that of Ttfuxrton. 

In 1539, the name4)f Sir John iDivale appears as curate. 
The affairs of the church seem to have reached its lowest level 
in his time. He appears to have been soon removed, inasmuch 
as Sir Richard Smith was here in 1541. His name is signed 
as curate, and witness, to Robert Hine*s will. Divale was buried 
at Bruton in A.D. 1559. 

In 1 58 1, John Ewens of Suddon was rector, but who was 
curate does not transpire. 

In 1598, Rev. Nicholas Watts was curate. Some one of 
that name became incumbent of North Barrow. (See Weaver's 

In 1635, I find the name of Nicholas Garvin on an old 
deed, he signs himself as curate. This year the Parish 
Register begins, and lie signs at the beginning, " Nichol Garvin 



In 1640, Rev. Roger NichoJs was curate^ This ma^ not 
have been the year of his institution, the register having a gaf^ 
from February, 1637, to March, 1639. In February, 1640, 
his daughter Jane was buried, and. in the January following, 
bis wife Christian. In 1643, Roger his son,, and in 1647, 
Agatha, another daughter. He re-married on 5th September, 
1643. He was rector of Maperton in 1654* He was succeeded 
ia 1650 by Revi Henry Shepard, ** Clarke of Wincalton." He. 
did not live very long, as he was buried here on May 7th, 1655, 
The year 1654 was one of great fatality, the number of burials 
being 46, whereas in 1652 the number was 17, and in 1655 
only 16. I presume that he was followed by John Sacheverell, 
of. whom I have giv^z an extended account in another chapter. 

We now come to a remarkable man, namely, Rev. Elias. 
Bulgin,. It is not clear as to the year he began his minis- 
trations. He married Mary, his only wife, here on 27th Oct;, 
1662, and she lived with him till the opening of the year 1704. 
During his cumcy he bad' many troubk^s*. Amongst the rest 
the destruction of his household effects by the great iine of 
1707, which involved him in a loss of ^14^-0-11, rendering him 
completely destitute*. His living at th^t time was estimated at 
£3P 1^^ annuQGL He was present at the skirmish between the 
Royal and the Orange troops. He saw the rising into local 
facie o£ the Churchev, Capper, Glyn, Newman, Bennett, and 
Lewis families. He baptised, married, and. lived ahnost lon^ 
enough to see the end of, Jack White the fratricides. He buri^ 
his children here, and here on the 14th of February, 1726, his 
own body was buried. 

Now, again, many changes occurred. 

In 1726, Rev. Robert Edgar's name appears in the parish 
register as curate. 

In 1727,. that of Rev. Davys Colmer. During his tenure 
the church was enlarged, as thet stone over the south porch 
shows. There is every appearance- of hie having a tolerably 
quiet time of it. The same churchwatxiens, George Deane 
and John Pike, held office nearly all the time of his incumbency^ 

In 1737, Rev.. Thomas FareweU, one of the Holbrook 
family, was curate, but for a short time only, inasmuch as, in 
July, }7¥^> Kev. Richard Gapper enters, and signs the register 
as ' minister.* He remained four years only. He wa$ probably 
one o£ the Gapper family of Bay ford. He was curate, of $toke 
Trister in 1753, and went from there to Yarlington on Jan. ist> . 
i754>. where he died, and was buried on August loth, 1782. 
At the entrance to that parish church, an inscription to his 
memory is still to be seen* Whilst in. charge of Stoke Trister 


WiNCANTON Church Clergy. 

he was married to " Isabella Gapper, spinster," in Horsington 
Church. She died at Wincanton in June, 1784. 

In 1744, Rev. Andrewes Overton was curate. I find this 
name in a deed, in 1720, concerning property in Bratton St. 
Maur, and in 1729 as patron of the living at Keinton Man- 

In 1747, R^^» David Hopkins became curate, and 1 
believe continued for nearly 20 years. It was during his time 
that John Wesley came here, (to which I have referred in 
another place.) He was supported by several good men as 
churchwardens, including John Brickenden, Nathaniel Ireson, 
and Richard Lewis. 

From 1766 to 1772, Rev. William Plucknett, presumably 
the son of Charles Plucknett the rector, was curate. 

In 1772, Rev. Samuel Gatehouse succeeded, and remained 
till 1777, apparently acting as "warming pan" for the next 
comer — 

Rev. Tames Plucknett, A.B. By 1783, he had gained an 
L.L.B. On 29th September in that year he married Miss 
Eliza Cross of Yeovil, and occupied the *• Parsonage House," 
near the church. He appears to have held the curacy of 
Holton at the same time, giving up Wincanton in 1786, 
retaining the Holton incumbency. 

In 1786, or about, Rev. Samuel Farewell, A.B„ left 
Holbrook, and became incumbent, living at the " Parsonage." 
During his term there was great distress in the parish, in 
1789, no less than 474 persons depending on charity for bread. 
He took an active part in relieving the distress. He died 
on 30th January, 1797. 

In 1798, Rev. John Radford, A.B., signed his name ia 
the parish register. He attended a vestry meeting in Aprils 
1801, but his name does not appear as a resident in the census 
of that year. Ten years later he had taken up his residence 
at a new house, built for himself in the High Street, now 
called "Pine House.*' Whether he came from Buckhorn 
Weston or not I cannot discover, but he did duty there on 
Sundays as well as at Wincanton, the former having to do 
with one service only. During his curacy, the vestry 
meetings were held on Sundays, so as to secure a better 
attendance. He appears to have been a parson of the 
" Rev. Jack Russell " type, as he was known as ** Parson 
Jack/' He remained till 1829. 

During his incumbency great eflforts were made to in- 
crease the material prosperity of the town, and not without 
success. Ah Act of Parliament was passed to secure better 


WiNCANTON Church Clergy. 

local government. Horwood House was built and a Spa es- 
tablished. The churchyard was enclosed, and many other 
things done of which we, living here to-day, enjoy the benefit. 
Charles Radford, (the son of the '* parson,'') was born here in 
1823, ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ Exmouth in March of this year. 

In 1828, the Rev. David Meade, a young man, was locum 
tenenSf but only for a few months, during which time he was 
much beloved, and is still remembered with affection, by one 
at least, who knew him. 

He was followed in 1829 or 1830 by Rev. William 
Carpendale, a young man only 29, rector of Silton and curate 
of Wincanton, of delicate health, consumed with zeal, de- 
sirous of materially and spiritually being a blessing to the 
parish, a zealous churchman, impatient with dissenters, and 
lacking in that tact which is even more necessary in a clergy- 
man than zeal. He urged many reforms which ran the 
parish into great debt, and gave himself and others much 
trouble to clear. I am told that he lived, for a time at least, 
at Horwood Well House, and afterwards at West Hill House 
where he died. His memorial stone in the churchyard gives 
the date of his death as August 30th, 1838. The tablet in the 
church, as well as a note in the first sermon of his successor 
after his presentation, give the date as August Uth, 1838. 
An obituary notice states that " Emma, widow of Rev. Wm. 
Carpendale, incumbent of Wincanton and rector of Silton , 
died at Weymouth in January, 1901, aged 91 years. She 
was a Miss Colson, and sister of Mrs. Henry Messiter. Not 
only was the church enlarged during his mcumbency, but 
owing to his efforts the National School, now used as parish 
room, was built. 

Rev. Henry Collins, M. A., came here before the death of 
the late incumbent, and when that event took place an appli- 
cation was made to the patrons, the Messrs. Messiter, " by 
all the parishioners," to appoint him to the curacy. To this 
they consented. I have before me, in print, undated, his 
first sermon after his appointment, which struck the key-note 
of his ministry. His text was — *♦ Who is sufficient for these 
things ? " — n. Cor., ch. 2, v. 16. His opening words were — 
" I appear before you to-day in a situation of the very deepest 
responsibility — a minister accountable to God for upwards of 
two thousand precious, never dying souls. This responsibility 
1 feel more deeply to-day than I have since my coming among 
you, because I am now the minister and the soU minister of 
this parish." He took great interest in the young, as his 
words to them in this sermon and his life alike showed. Re- 


WiNCANTON Church Clergy. 

ferring to his predecessor, he said — "Children, can you forget 
him ? Must not his name be engraven on your memories 
whilst you live ? You were the objects of his dearest regard. 
He longed, he laboured for your good. Did not your little 
hearts throb with sorrow as you followed him, in mournful 
procession, to the grave ? Had you not a strong feeling that 
you had lost a friend indeed ? " Mr. Collins had several sons 
and daughters who survived him. The calls on his purse were 
out of proportion to the pittance derived from the curacy. 
He was promoted when 71 years of age to the rectory of 
West Camel, where he lived till October 28th, 1881, aged 80. 
His wife, Dorothea Rebecca, survived him till April 3rd, 
1888, when she died at the age of 75, so that she was only 24 
when he commenced his regular ministry here. During his 35 
years' residence here, it may be safely and truthfully said, 
that he endeared himself to all the parishioners of all sects 
and parties. The bodies of himself and wife lie in Wincanton 
churchyard, where some of his old parishioners erected a 
stone to their memory. 

Rev. Matthew Shackleton, M.A., was appointed in July, 
1872, and remained until 1884, when he resigned and accepted 
the living at Beechingstoke, Chippenham. During his time 
no events of special importance occurred in regard to church 
matters, excepting the destruction of the church property by 
fire, which I have referred to in another place. 

In December, 1884, Rev. Richard Nicholson, M.A., was 
appointed. He set to work at once to effect a reform in all 
church matters, including the restoration of the parish 
church which had been contemplated before, but for which, 
the time was not ripe. To the sorrow of all, he was taken 
ill and died on September 30th, 1885, aged 58. 

The Rev. Colin Grant-Dalton, M.A., on the 17th January, 
1886, took up the work which his predecessor laid down by 
'* Reading himself in." He came with the highest possible 
recommendation of the present Bishop of South wark, whose 
curate he had been at Sydenham. His Lenten address for that 
year, which was printed and circulated in the parish, showed 
him to be an earnest devoted servant of the church and of its 
Head. After showing the necessity of self examination and 
the duty of not devoting Sundays only to public worship, but 
some portion of week days also, he wrote — " The result of a 
Lent so spent should be a clearer knowledge of ourselves as 
God sees us, a deeper gratitude for the love which * while we 
were yet sinners ' caused Christ to die for us, a keener desire 
for communion with our risen Lord, and some humble reso- 



lotion against a besetting sin. May we all so use this solemn 
season that we may in future be able to look back and 
recognise as its result, a distinct step upwards towards the 
holiness we are seeking.*' 

He instituted Daily Services at 9.30 a.m., and Evensong 
at 7.30 p.m. Tbe subjects of the sermons were Repentance, 
Faith, Baptism, La3dng on of Hands, Resurrection of the 
Dead^ and Eternal Judgment. Onr Fridays he took tbe sub- 
jects of Prayerfulness, Benevolence, Self Sacrifice, Patience^ 
Humility, and. Courage. Themes simple, but all important. 

hi the spirit of these initial virtues he went on, through 
times of arduous labour, anxiety, sickness, personal and rel- 
ajtive, until he was phvsically unable to fulfil those duties 
and obligatifrns on which his heart had been set, and to which 
his talents had been consecrated. Perhaps it is no exagger- 
ation to say that during his ministry the Augustan period of 
the church of. England here was reached, materially and 
spiritually* As men view this portion of parish histoiy, it 
appears a deplorable circumstance that he should have been 
physically disqualified so soon, and that finally he had to. 
reUiiquish bis w^rk, but we remember that we <<know only in 
part" To those who. knew him well, his last address speaks 
volumes^ His character was so transparent that none could 
question the sincerity of these closing words. — 

**'Churchfield, Wincanton, Nov. 19, 1896. My dear 
Parishioners— (To address you once more by that familiar 
title) — After deep consideration, I have placed my resignation 
in the hands of our Bishop. As you all know, it pleased God 
ifr his wisdom to lay me by about fifteen months ago. For a 
long time I had hopes of a speedy restoration to health, but as 
I can no longer look for that, I have after much thought, and 
with the fuU consent of the Bishop of the diocese, come to 
the oxiclusion that it is. not good for the parish that I should 
continue to hold the post of rector, of which I can no longer 
discharge the duties. 

I. do most sincerely thank you all for the great kindness I 
have received from you during the past eleven years, and 
roost especially for tbe kindly and loyal manner in which I 
haye been treated,, both in my absence and presence, during 
my illness. I should like to take this opportunity of placing 
on record, the deep sense of my obhgation to the Rev. W. 
Farrer for the loyal and earnest way in which he has cared 
for the parish while I have been laid aside* 

The patron of the living, the Bishop of Southwark, will, 
I. know, senud you the best successor he can find, and l|^ould 


WiNCANTON Church Clergy. 

most earnestly ask for him, when he comes, a continuation of 
that hearty support which you have always given to me ; and 
I do sincerely hope that the church workers will still carry 
on, under their new rector, those branches of work which 
they have undertaken, not for me, but for God. Of course, 
I cannot tell what arrangements the new rector may make, 
but I think you should know that the income has, in the last 
eleven years, so seriously diminished that it very little exceeds 
;f 300 a year, and as there is no rectory house, this certainly 
will not provide the stipends of two clergy : indeed, but for 
my failing health, I must by this time have tried to work the 
parish single-handed. I shall not feel that my labours have 
here been useless, if some among you have learned that the 
church exists for the good of the souls for whom Christ died, 
and that the work of the clergy is, above everything, to bring 
home to all hearts the great benefits which He has won for 
men. And now my last word shall be (and it is the hardest 
of all to say) Gooa-bye, in its true sense of " God be with 
you," so I subscribe myself for the last time, — Your affect- 
ionate rector, — Colin Grant-Dalton." 

He lingered on for over a year after his resignation, 
passing to his rest on the 31st January, 1898, at the early age 
of 3Q. His remains were buried in the family churchyard, 
Cucklington, on the 3rd of February following. 

The Rev. Walter Farrer, M.A. Two years after the 
resignation of the late rector, namely, on the 20th Nov., 
1896, the whole of the parishioners were gratified on having 
the following letter addressed to them. 

" Wincanton, November 30th, 1896. My dear friends,— 
As I announced in church last night, the Bishop of South- 
wark has offered me the living of Wincanton, and after much 
prayer and thought I have accepted it. 

During the seven years that I have been working here I 
have always met with the greatest kindness and sympathy, 
and I want, in taking up my new position as rector, to thank 
you all most heartily for your goodness to me in the past, 

I had some doubt, as I said last night, whether an entire 
change might not be good for the parish, for a stranger might 
be able to put forward the old truths in a fresher and more 
convincing way, though he could not hold them more strongly 
or desire to impress them more earnestly than 1 do ; but the 
offer of the living from the Bishop of Southwark, after careful 
enquiry (as I knew) as to my fitness for the post, the advice 
of persons on whose judgment I could rely, and the many 
expressions of goodwill towards me which I have heard 


WiNCANTON Church Clergy. 

during the last week, all seem to show me that I might truth- 
fully regard the offer as a real call from Almighty God to the 

As such I look upon it, and I pray that my first thought 
in all I do here may be the care of the souls of those thus 
entrusted to my charge, that God in all things may be 

The late rector, as 3*ou will remember, in his farewell 
letter, begged for his successor a continuation of that hearty 
support which you have always given to him.' I would 
repeat that prayer most earnestly. The church does not 
consist of the clergy alone, but of clergy and laity alike, and 
the efforts of your rector, however earnest he may be, cannot 
meet with success unless he has the sympathy and active 
assistance of his parishioners, and no earnestness and activity 
on the part of rector and people can be of any use unless 
they have the blessing of God. 

That we together may look, in all that we do, for that 
blessing, and be content to leave the results of our work in 
His hands is my earnest prayer. I remain, yours very sin- 
cerely, — Walter Farrer. P.S. — ^You will understand that I 
am not actually rector of Wincanton until I have been 
* instituted ' by the Bishop of the diocese." 

The work begun by Mr. Grant-Dalton has been carried 
in the same spirit by his successor. More than this I think it 
unnecessary to say. The following summary may, however, 
be of service. 

Mr. Farrer became curate in October, 1889. He accepted 
the incumbency in November, 1896. Formally inducted in 
January, 1897. Rev. G. H. Wilson became curate in Feb- 
ruary, 1897. Inuring Mr. Farrer's incumbency a memorial 
window has been put in to the memory of the late Rev. Colin 
Grant-Dalton by Mrs. Sowlet, Mrs. Grant-Dalton's mother ; 
another to his memory by the parish ; and one to the memory 
of Mr. John Goodfellow, formerly organist of the church, by 
his son, Mr Tewkesbury Goodfellow of Gloucester. The 
seating of the church has been completed ; the tower re- 
pointed, and the pinnacles and battlements made secure, and 
the whole rendered free from debt. 


John Sachi^erei.1.. 

Soi^n S^Ui^tiitttU* 

John Sacheverell came here in very troublous timesi 
probably about the year 1655, for on the 7th May in that 
year Henry Shepard was buried. In 1654, a year of extreme, 
heat, the ordinary death rate in the parish had gone up from 
less than 20 to 46. As if to compensate, the year following 
was frosty and cold ; on May-day the hills were white with 
snow. In i6c|7, there was great sickness in the country, and. 
one writer said of 1658 that it was " the severest winter any 
man alive could remember." Of 1661, Evelya said that 
** such a time of the year was never known in this world 
before." 1662 was characterised by " very great winds/' and 
** a year of famine and tempest." Money was scarce*. Trade 
tokens were used to facilitate business. Wincanton speci- 
mens are extant of one dated 1652 — of "John Rogers, 
mercer," 1659 — ** William Ivy of the Seven otars," 1667 — 
"Ben. Lewes of the Black Lyon," and another, undated, 
about the same time, of John Keves with the picture of a . 
squirrel. Ignorance, poverty, and discontent appear to have 
abounded Inreligious matters, party spirit rap much higher 
than is possible now ; each party claimed to possess all the 
virtues, and were utterly intolerant of others. They strove 
after the things of this life, much more ardently than for 
heavenly riches. They may have had faith of a sort, but of 
charity, alas ! there was next to, none. 

The name" of Sacheverell was not new to the county, in- 
asmuch as one Richard Sacheverell, connected in. some way 
with the Hungerford family, had the patronage of the livings 
of Aller, North Cadbury, Martock, Newton St.. Loe, and 
Holton, from 1521 to 1530, as may be seen by reference to 
" Weaver's Incumbents of Somerset." The Rev. John Sach- 
everell, the father of the Wincanton incumbent, is said by 
Calamy to have been the rector of Stoke in the Isle of 
Purbeck. In " The History of the Congregational Churches . 
of Dorset," it is stated, on the authority of Hutchins, that he 
was minister of Stoke-under- Ham, Of course he might have 
been minister at both places ; he was at East Stoke at any 
rate in 1641.. Joha was the eldest soa. His brother 
Philologus was rector of Eastwood', Essex, and another 
brother, Timothy, waa rector of Farran^ Htnton. John him- 


John Sacheverell. 

self, before coming to Wincanton, was curate or rector of 
Kimpton, where probably his son Joshua was born, about 
1642, the child of John's first wife. In the year 1661, a child 
of John and Jane Sacheverell was baptised under the name 
of Joseph, bat there is some diflScuIty m discovering who was 
his mother. Was it the same mother as that of Joshua ? was 
it the second wife, of whom it is said she haa no child ? 
Unless wrongly entered in the register it could not be the 
third wife ; her maiden name was Mary Hussey, who was 
the wife and widow of Henrj' Derbie of Shaftesbury before 
being married to John Sacheverell. 

Now although the local sources of knowledge respecting 
Saclieverell are so scanty, there is more information respecting 
him than perhaps any other vicar during the past four cent- 
rales. I will, therefore, give the accounts in full. They will 
be seen to be tx parte^ bnt that the present writer is not 
responsible for. It will be necessary to read the story 
m the light of the general history of the country covering 
fhe same period. The first is from "Calamy's Nonconformist's 
Memorial," 2 vol. ed., 1775, vol. II., page 386. 

WiNCAUNTON C. or D. — (Curacy or Donative.) 

" Mt. John Sacheverell of St. John's College, Oxford. 
He was the eldest son of Mr. Sacheverell, minister of Stoke, 
in the isle of Purbeck in Dorsetshire, who was a man of 
great reputation, and had many children, two of whom were 
mhristers. Mr. Timothy Sacheverell of Dorsetshire was one 
of them. This Mr. John Sacheverell had first the living of 
Rimpton, which he quitted before the king was restored. His 
labours in this place, in the service of the souls (committed to 
his care, was very great ; and he had considerable success in 
inecovering many that were dissolute, and in the conversion of 
several to a love of God and true goodness. His conversation 
was unblamable and exemplary. He constantly rose early, 
and spent the morning in his study, and the afternoon m 
visiting his flock, and discoursing with them about religious 
matters, till the Saturday, which was entirely spent in pre- 
paring for his Lord's Day's work, which was as follows. — He 
began public worship in the morning with a short prayer, 
then read a psalm and a chapter, briefly expounding them. 
After singing a psalm, he prayed and preached for an hour 
and a quarter. In the afternoon he began at one, repeating 
his morning sermon, and examining young people as to what 
they had remembered ; then he prayed and preached for 
about an hour and a half, and afterwards the repetition of 
the afternoon sermon, and the examination of young persons 


John Sacheverbll* 

about it, concluded the public service. 

On the day of King Charles the Second's Coronation, he 
preached a sermon on i Samuel, xii., 24, 25. — ** But if ye shall 
do wickedly ye shall be consumed, both you and your king.** 
The observation which he chiefly insisted on was this, " That 
wicked men continuing in their wicked actions are the greatest 
tray tors to the kin^ and state wherein they live." Several 
went out of church m the midst of the sermon, and the rabble 
got together and in the market-house impanelled a jury from 
amongst themselves, and represented a formal trial of the 
preacher. They afterwards drew him in effigy through the 
town upon a hurdle, with a book in his hand which they called 
his catechism, to the top of an bill where a great bonnre was 
prepared. Thq effigy was hung upon a pole, and was first 
shot at by several with a great deal of fury and at length burnt. 

A little after, Mr. Sacheverell was indicted at the Assizes 
for continuing the exercise of his ministry without reading the 
Common Prayer. When he was allowed to speak for himself 
he declared that if he had been required by authority to have 
read the Common Prayer, he either would have done it or have 
immediately quitted the living. He behaved himself so well 
that the Judge asked those that were about him, " Have you 
no other man than this in your coimty to single out for a 
pattern of your severity." Upon hearing all matters the jury 
brought him in ** Not Guilty," and he was acquitted. After 
being silenced in 1662, he retired to Stalbridge, where he bad 
an estate in the right of his wife. Being afterwards taken at 
a meeting at Shaftesbury, together with Mr. Bampfield (of 
Sherborne), Mr. Hallett (of Shaftesbury), Mr. Ince (of Don- 
head), he and they were sent to Dorchester jail, where he 
remained three years. In this imprisonment he and the rest 
of them took it by turns to preach out of a window to a con- 
siderable number of people on the other side of the river. In 
this confinement he contracted such an indisposition, that of 
a very cheerful active person he became very melancholy, and 
soon after ended his days. He died in his chair, speakmg to 
those about him, with great vehemence and affection, of the 
great work of the redemption of sinners. He wrote in the 
title page of all his books, "To me to live is Christ, and to die 
is gain," which was therefore engraven on his tombstona Mr. 
Banger, (Josiah, son of Bernard of Yarlington,) who was a 
sufferer with him, preached his funeral sermon upon Romans 
viii., 22, 23. This was the grandfather of the celebrated Dr. 
Henry Sacheverell." 


John Sachbverbll. 

The other account is from " Mirabilis Annus/* 1661. It has 
a picture of a crowd surrounding a fire in which the effigy 
appears. There are beside, two spirited figures, one of them 
with a gun firing at the dummy. It says — 

** We are from very good hands assured of a very strange 
providence of God that lately happened at Wincaunton, in the 
county of Sommerset, on the 29 of May, 1661, the relation 
whereof as it was received from honest and faithful persons, 
eyewitnesses, taketh as foUoweth — 

Upon the said 29 of May, (being his Majesties birthday, 
and appointed as a day of thanksgiving for his Majesties resti- 
tution to the exercise of his regall power over these nations,) 
Mr. Sacheveril, the minister of the town of Wincanton afore- 
said, did in the celebrating the memorial of that day, or on the 
Lord's Day foregoing, preach to the people from that portion 
of Scripture — i Saml., xii., 25. — " But if ye shall do wickedly 
ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king," from which 
words he raised very clearly this observation, namely, — That 
wicked and prophane men are the worst subjects, which he 
demonstrated and confirmed by severall arguments ; and in his 
application did endeavour to convince that part of his auditory 
which his text was most applicable to of the inconsistencv of 
their present course ot prophaneness, drunkenness, whoreclom, 
scoffing at religion, swearing, blaspheming, &c., with that which 
is loy^ty indeed, and wherewith any prince can be either 
advantaged or honoured. The rude debauched multitude of 
the town (who judged themselves the best subjects because 
most obnoxious to the preacher's reproofs) were extreamly 
scandalised and enraged at this doctrine, and resolved to he 
avenged on the minister for so open detecting their disloyalty 
to their Soveraign ; to which purpose they prepare an effigies 
made of straw and clothed in black, which might represent 
Mr. Sacheveral, and put into its hand the Catechism compiled 
by the late reverend Assembly of Divines, and with a horse or 
horses drew it through the town upon a sled, and at several 
honest sober men's doors as they passed along they made 
a stand, demanding of it whether it would read the common 
prayer or No, to which some were appointed still to make 
answer in the negative, whereupon they draw it away 
to the place where they had set in order above an hundred 
fagots of furzes and other such like combustible matter, 
in the midst of which pile they place the aforesaid effigies 
upon a short pole, and then kindled their bonfire ; and 
though the effigies was in the midst of a very quick 
and fierce flame which ascended above it, yet the fire 


John Sacheverell. 

had no power at all over it, but it remained after a good part 
of the materials were consumed altogether untouched ; at 
which the multitude were so enraged that one of them dis- 
charged a gun at it, which as he shot it off brake in pieces and 
hurt himself, with some others who stood near him. Then 
another of the company struck at it with a hanger, which also 
by the force of the blow brake in two. Then they took it 
down and held it in the fire, and the wind blew the flame from 
it so that they could not make it bum. Then they held it on 
the fire the contrary side, and the wind immediately turned 
and kept the fiame again froih seizing upon it. After all, they 
were forced to pull it to pieces, and so, piece by piecemeal at last 
consumed it in the fire. This relation, with the several cir- 
cumstances of it as we have here inserted them, will be attested 
by divers inhabitants of the said town of Wincanton, and the 
truth of the story is so notoriously known there that the actors 
themselves have not the face to deny it or any part of it, and 
we cannot but hope that it hath left some conviction upon 
them, seeing the Lord by this strange and miraculous provi- 
dence hath so publiquely and manifestly disowned and rebuked 
their barbarous and inhuman usage (and that only for telling 
fliem the truth) of their faithful minister, in their attempts 
(though in vain) against that man of straw which they made 
to represent him. And let it also be an encouragement to him 
and all the rest of the Lord's faithful messengers in this day of 
great apostacy, to hold fast the truth, and to cleave to that God 
who stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and 
tlie tumult of the people." 

This last account appears to have been written by Mr. 
Sacheverell himself at the time of its happening, hence the 
dramatic style and the force of the writing. It is quite likely 
that this early account was before Calamy, when he wrote the 
later and soberer article. 

It is, perhaps, worthy of note that during the period horn 
1653 to 1663, there were no churchwardens appointed. 

That it was a time of dense ignorance and superstition, 
when these events occurred, will be shown when we relate the 
story of the " Wincanton Witches." 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

iS^onanxtovmisitsi in VBUmsnton. 

Thb Congrbgationalists. 
Every thing in nature and in human life tends towards 
variety. In Elijah's time, there were many who did not bow 
the knee to the acknowledged dei^ of the multitude. In 
Babylon, also, there were at any rate tour who did not "worship 
the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up." Such 
is the perversity of human nature that some prefer being in a 
minority ; others, who are possessed of a sensitive conscience, 
of necessity must differ from the majority. Others again who, 
in the main, agree with the dominant paurty, will not be forced 
into conformity. Of the latter class were, in the year 1592, 

John Evans, senr., of Suddon, and Elizabeth his wife, and 
ohn Evans, junr., and Elizabeth his wife. When the law 
was passed in Queen Elizabeth's reign, which compelled people 
to attend the parish church, these four were " recusants," and 
were fined ;f2o per month each. I presume that they were 
Roman Catholics by conviction, at any rate the two John Evans 
were scholars, and of good position, the former being lord of the 
manor, and patron of the living. The word nonconformist is 
wide enough to include these worthies. Passing on to 1685, we 
find others who were nonconformists, and who favoured the 
Duke of Monmouth's claim. Again, Suddon was represented 
in Richard Harvey, who, with John Howell, John Tucker, 
Hugh Holland, William Holland, Thomas feowden, and 
Maurice Frith, were condemned to death by that incarnate 
fiend. Judge Jeffreys. Frith was reprieved, but the other six 
were beheaded. Legend says that at the East gate of the 
church, in which some of them at least had received the sign 
of the cross in baptism, their bloody heads were exhibited. 

Two years later, namely, in 1687, it appears from Mr. 
Green's " The march of William of Orange," that there was 
a congregation of Presbyterians in Wincanton who presented 
a loyal address to King James IL, thanking him for his 
" Majestie's favour and gracious promises." 

In the " History of the Congregational Church," I have 
given a full account of that body of Nonconformists in the 
parish, but the following account may be here given as a 
supplement, inasmuch as the history of the town would not be 
complete if it were omitted. I quote from the official docu- 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

" Whereas by certain indentures of lease and release, 
bearing date respectively the fourth and fifth days of February, 
which was in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and twenty five, and made or mentioned to be made between 
Thomas Collins of Temple Combe, in the said county of 
Somerset, gentleman, and James Garrett of the same place, 
linen weaver, of the one part, and Nicholas Brown, Famham 
Haskole, Barnard Banger, John Pierce, John Perry the elder, 
Thomas Targett, William Ivie, William Moore the elder, 
Samuel Moore, Richard Mead, John Glisson, Peter Dove the 
elder, John Vining, John King, Thomas Perry, linen weaver, 
Richard Horler, Josiah Biggs, William Hill, Peter Dove the 
younger, and Thomas Perry, yeoman, on the other part, they, 
the said Thomas Collins and James Garrett, sold to the said 
Barnard Banger, &c., *A11 that messuage or tenement thereto- 
fore a malthouse, but then converted into a meeting house, 
together with a little house at the east end thereof, situate 
lying and being on Rockhill in Shatterwell Lane, in the parish 
of Wincanton,* upon trust, that they, behaving themselves in 
an orderly and decent manner, on the Lord's day and at all 
other times, may assemble together to join in religious worship." 

By the year 1771, there were only Nicholas Brown and 
Farnham Haskole surviving, when, on the 2nd of April, these 
two regranted the premises to a new set of trustees, namely, 
David Hughes, John Guyer, Nicholas Keates, John Hurd, 
William Hurd, Philip Hurd, Andrew Little, John Littlejohn, 
Joseph Parsons, John Parsons, Benjamin Parsons the younger, 
Samuel Dove, Nicholas Brown the yoxmger, John Brown, 
linen weaver, Joseph Brown, John Brown Baker^ and John 

In the year i8oo, the only survivors of these trustees were 

John Keates, William Hurd, John Brown, Joseph Brown, and 
ohn Dove. A new deed was made, in which it was said that 
this meeting house of Protestant Dissenters was * grown old, 
ruinous, and in decay, and not sufficiently large for holding 
the congregation of dissenters frequenting the same, who were 
of late years much increased.' 

The surviving trustees and others, at considerable expense, 
purchased a piece of ground, much more commodious and 
better situated, on which at that time a new building was 
being erected and nearly completed ; and to assist in defraying 
the cost, it became necessary to sell the old building and land. 
It was therefore absolutely sold to Richard Messiter for the 
sum of fifty-two pounds ten shillings. For some time after 
this these premises were used as a school by a Mr.^ Robert 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

Gutch. It was for many years after this used as a cooper's 
workshop by Mr. James Horsey, then as a mason's storehouse 
by Mr. James Sweetman. It was then sold to Mr. Edwin 
Crouch, who took down the building and erected the cottages 
now standing on the site. 

Four hundred pounds were advanced by a Mr. Timothy 
Wallington, of Basinghall Street, and other sums of money 
were raised to build the present church in Mill Street, of 
which the full detail is given in the ** History of the Congre- 
gational Church," and therefore unnecessary to be repeated 

The next trust deed was enrolled in the high Court of 
Chancery on the 30th October, 1804, when the following 
gentlemen were the new trustees — 

John Brown of Wincanton, gentleman, 

Joseph Brown, linen manufacturer, 

Nicholas Brown, gentleman, 

Thomas Garrett, mercer, 

John Randall, druggist, 

James Thorn, brewer, 

Malachi Mead, farmer, 

Thomas Francis, plumber, 

William Hunt, shopkeeper, 

James King, of Knowl Park, Shepton Montague, farmer, 

^benjamin Gray the younger, of Henstridge, farmer, 

James Garrett, of Templecombe, farmer, 

John Garrett, of the same place, farmer, 

John Gray, of Sherborne, surgeon, and 

John Bussell, of Bayford, Unman. 
Of the above, Joseph Brown died before the completion of 
the deed. 

In 1835, Timothy Wallington and Nicholas Brown 
becoming bankrupt, the premises were re-conveyed to the 
remaining trustees. 

In March, 1852, when Thomas Francis and Benjamin 
Gray only were left alive, a new Trust deed was made, con- 
sisting of the survivors of the old deed, and — 
John Mead, farmer of Horsington, 
Thomas Mead, farmer of Horsington, 
William Francis, plumber, Wincanton, 
William Sims, master of the Gas Works, Wincanton, 
George Royce, currier, Wincanton, 
John Parsons, boot and shoe maker, Wincanton, 
Elijah Pitman, boot and shoe maker, Wincanton, 
Samuel H. Longman, draper, Wincanton, 



Samuel Newton Parsons, surgeon, Wincanton, 
James Amor, draper, Bruton, 
Charles Jupe, silk throwster. Mere, 

James Hamilton, draper, Wincanton, 
oseph Pitman, box manufacturer, Milbome Port. 
On September 7th, 1867, when there were g survivors but 
only four of them resident in the parish, another change was 
made by the admission of Mr. Henr}^^ Penny and otiiers. At 
the time of writing not one of the 13 is living. 

On the 9th January, 1888, another ^et df 16 wasiappohiteA. 
Of these, 5 are dead and 5 are non-resident in the pansh* 

It will be necessary now to go back a century or so, 
because the Independents were not the cfnly nonconformists in 
the town. In 1762, on the 25th October, John Wesley 
came here as his Journal shows. He says — "I rode to 
Wincanton," (from Shepton Mallet.) •♦The rain prevented 
my preaching abroad, so I wiilindy accepted the offer of a 
large meeting house, where I preacned to a crowded audi^ce 
with much satisfaction, and a^ain at seven in the mormng. 
Abundance of rain fell in the night, so that in the morning we 
were blocked up. The river which runs by the side of the 
town not being fordable, we at length made a shift to lead our 
horses over the foot-bridge. I preached at Coleford about 
nine, and Bristol in the evening. 

1763. September 7. About six (1 preachedj in a tneadow 
at Wincanton. I suppose tins was the first neld preaching 
which had been tbere. However, the people were all quiet 
and the greater part deeply attentive, Thursday the 8th^ at 
nine, I preached in the same place to a far more serious 

He incidentally refers to another visit he made on October 
14, 1765. 

In 1766, on August 29th, he preaclj6d at one o'clock, as 
he was on his way from Shepton Mallet to Shaftesbury. 

Again in 1768, Wesby preached at Wincanton in the 
evening. He says he spoke ** with greater freedom than I 
used to find among that dead people." 

In 1770, apparently his last visit here, he makes these 
remarks under date October 8th and 9th. — " Wincanton, one 
of the dullest places in all the county, I preached on Death in 
the morning and Hell in the evening. It seemed these were 
the very subjects they wanted. I never saw this careless 
people so much affected before." 

Apparently, Wesley's estimate was not far wrong. 
Religion was dead in clergy and laity. Solifidianism flourished 



amongst the dissenters ; drunkenness, poverty, lawlessness, 
ignorance, immorality, and hardness of heart amongst the 
people generally. 

The early followers of Wesley and Whitefield came here 
also, as the following extraordinary statement shows. The 
date of the incident I cannot fix. Of Furtz, it is said 
that he was born at Wilton in 171 7, but that does not help us 
much* Robert Brockway was market lessee from 28th Dec, 
176^ to 1784 ; here, too, is a wide margin* As to the Brewham 
minister, William Hall was incumbent from 1764 to 1768, and 
he was followed by John Goldesborough. I give Furtz*s stoir 
for what it is wortn. He says, in an account of his own lire 
in " Early Methodist Preachers," — 

" I was invited to preach at Wincanton, Robert Brockway 
informing me that the dissenting minister was a pious man| 
and had promised me the' use of his pulpit ; and notice was 
given on the market day that a Methodist was to preach there 
on Sunday, but when Robert Brockway reminded the minister 
of his promise, he said, <' My congregation is not willing,*' I 
asked, '*Is there any among you that has courage to go 
through the town and tell the people there will be preaching 
on the Common 7 " One answered, '' I will for one. When 
we were there, a man brought me a table to stand on. After 
singing a hymn and ^)endmg a little time in prayer, I gavq 
put these words — << Seeing tha,t all these things shall be 
dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy 
conversation and godliness ? " The people were as still a^ 
night, and gave g(x>d heed to what was spoken, till the ministec 
of Brewham, with an attorney and Mr. Ring, the town clerk, 
came to the outside of the congregation. Some then cried 
out, " Make way ! make way ! " but the people stood closer 
and closer together, till I desired them to open to the right and 
left, and let the gentlemen come forward. Mr. Ring then read 
the " Riot Act." I said, " Sir ! was there any appearance of 
a riot here till you came." He looked me in the face and 
said with the utmost vehemence, ** Thou rascal 1 " Then the 
blood spouted out in a stream from both his nostrils. He. 
dropped to the earth, crying aloud, ^' They will say this is a 
judgment ; " no wonder if they did. All possible means were, 
used to stop the bleeding, but in vain. From that time he 
wa& a lunatic. He was carried to Bath and died soon after. 
In about a fortnight, I was informed, the minister of Brewham 
died also. Some time after this, one of Mr. Whitefield's 
preachers preached at Wincanton. While he was preaching, 
a carrier came with a string of packborse?. The fore horse 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

had a strap of bells about his neck. The carrier took them 
off and put them about his own neck. He then ran in among 
the people, jumping and dancing with all his might. While 
he was thus employed, the horse he took the bells from dropped 
down. They went to him but he was stone dead. So God, 
in judgment, mixed with mercy, took the horse but spared the 

In 1775, Mr. Ring was solicitor here, for he was on 24th 
October of that year paid 2 guineas for drawing and engrossing 
a deed for the Market Trustees, in which for ;f 165, that body 
granted Miss Ring, spinster of Shaftesbury, aged about 50 
years, an annuity of ^15 per annum. This Miss Ring was 
apparently Mr. K. Ring's sister. She enjoyed the legacy till 
her death, November i8th, 1788. 

The Society of Friends. 

Next in chronological order comes the " Society of 
Friends." I am indebted to one of its members for the 
following account, written in 1890, I make only such slight 
alterations as are rendered necessary by the changes which 
have inevitably occurred in the twelve years. 

** About the year 1772, a meeting was held in the street, 
near the market place, which was addressed by a minister of 
the Society. Among the audience was Thomas Bracher, the 
grandfather of Mr. Edwin Bracher of Mere, and Mr. P. H. 
Bracher of Wincanton. From what Mr. Bracher then heard, 
he was convinced of the truth of the doctrines and practices 
of the Friends. A society was formed here consisting of the 
one family. One of his sons, a well known and very success- 
ful farmer and cheese dealer, Mr. William Bracher, died 
without issue in 1861. His brother James was a grocer 
and chandler, and the first secretary of our Gas and Water 
companies in 1837, which he continued to his death. 
His wife, who was much beloved for her christian philanthropy, 
survived him 28 years, and was the leader of the little society. 
Soon after James Bracher became successor of his father in 
business, he built a small meeting house in the High Street, 
where they worshipped for many years, and where, as even to 
this day, they buried their dead. When their children grew 
up and were' scattered abroad, the meetings were regularly 
carried on, even when there were literally but two or three met 

About the year 1876, the number had again increased, so 
that a larger room was required ; the present meeting-house 
was built, a small but convenient and comfortable place of 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

worship. Representatives of several families are now in 
connexion with the society. 

The meetings are still regularly held, twice on the first 
day of the week and once on the fifth day in the forenoon, and 
they always welcome with pleasure any who may wish to come 
in and sit with them, to wait upon the Lord in sincerity and 
truth, only asking the same rules to be observed as they them- 
selves would observe did they attend any other place of worship, 
viz., that if the stranger has anything to offer it should be after 
the close of the meeting, and thus good order would be observed." 

In addition to the other meetings for worship, the Adult 
School meets every Sunday afternoon in the chapel. 

The Wesleyans. 

There is a legend that Wesley said when here that Wesley- 
anism would never flourish here, and this appeared to be the 
only words of his retained. This statement is scarcely 
credible, not only because Wesley had too much common sense 
to pretend to tell the future, but because also the statement is 
not borne out in his journal. He appears to have hoped to 
the end that the Church of England itself would adopt his 
methods. Be that as it may, Wesleyans appear to have met 
for worship (at some place which cannot be located) in 1812. 
From 1 81 5, when the French Prisoners had left the town, they 
met more or less regularly at a room which had been either 
built expressly for, or used by, the French officers as billiard 
room, in what is now called Lock's Lane, until some time in 
1826. I believe they ceased meeting about that time. By 1838, 
or a year later at the outside, they had fitted up a little chapel 
in the Post Office lane, where Mr. Mead now has a cottage 
built. It was approax:hed from the lane by several steps, and 
was calculated to hold about 30 people at most. Mr. George 
Crocker, an ironmonger here, and who died a few years since 
at Dorchester, was one of the main supporters. The pulpit 
was supplied by local preachers, and here were the sacraments 
administered. On Mr, Crocker leaving for Yeovil, I believe 
the society languished and died out After a while, the chapel 
in Lock's Lane was again opened and carried on vigorously ; 
a strong choir with violins and 'cellos was started.. At times 
the little place was crowded. Alas I to die out again. The 
Primitive Methodists then had a trial, and only failed. 
Being vacant, the Mormonites then had the chapel, their 
leader being a Mr. Bamett Giles, a converted Jew, who lived 
in the High Street. This was about 1848. Giles was 
still living here in 1861. At last it became so rowdy that 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

Giles was in danger of his life ; windows were smashed ; 
Giles himself was chased through the streets followed by a 
howling mob. At last Dr. Surrage, to whom the building 
belonged, had it taken down. Some of the Mormonites followed 
their convictions, and went with their families to Utah, others . 
withdrew from the connection. Meanwhile the " Methodists '* 
had no place of meeting. Those who still were Wesleyans 
in principle met with other churches, biding their time. 
Within living memory there were five malthouses in the parish. 
All were closed before 1873. 1° ^^^^ Y®^ "The New Malt- 
house" in Rockhill was for sale. The Wesleyans of the 
Sherborne District and the Good Templars bought part of the 
premises, and divided it between them ; the Wesleyans^ 
however, worshipped in the Good Templars' Lodge Room till 
May, 1877, when they purchased the front part and fitted it up 
as a chapel at a cost of /'430. The founders have gone into 
the other life but their works do follow them. Wesleyanism 
now appears to be locally on a firm basis, and the Society is 
on the lookout for a more central position on which to build a 
new chapel. 

T^HB Baptists. 

A brief history of the early years of the Baptist Church 
is still in existence. It is ex partem but inasmuch as no one 
living can from memory give, perhaps, a better account, 
and there is a certain vigoiu: in this one, it is now adopted 
almost in its entirety. 

"In the year 1826, the Rev. Wm. Skinner (for many years 
minister of the Union Chapel, BrutonJ supplied at the 
Independent chapel in this town with a view to the pastoral 
oflSce. At the close of his probation, the church and congre- 
gation gave him an invitation to become their pastor. The 
government of the church had long been in other hands. A 
committee, composed of persons, the greater part of whom 
were destitute of piety but men of influence and money, decided 
that Mr. Skinner should leave, and they called in four 
neighbouring ministers who confirmed their decision. Many 
of Mr. Skinner's friends, among whom was Mr. George Day,, 
who had been a deacon for twelve years, satisfied that such 
government was unscriptural, and influenced by concern for 
the piuity of the church of Christ, separated from them and 
rented a small chapel which had been relinquished by the 
Wesleyan Methodists. This place was opened for Divine 
worship on September 3rd, 1826. By the united efforts of the 
people, neighbouring ministers were obtained to supply for 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

about sixteen months. At that time a young man was recom- 
mended as a candidate for the pastoral oflSce over them. The 
pioUs part of the congregation could not hear him with profit. 
Mr. Day, taking part with them, opposed his coming ; the 
result was that several families who had left the Independents 
returned thither again, and left Mr. Day and a few others to 
maintain the worship of God (in this little chapel). 

Having taken the most prominent and active part in the 
separation, and since that time, Mr. Day was looked up to by 
the people to carry on the interest, as being chiefly poor they 
were imable to pay the expense of supplies. Mr. Day had 
been accustomed to preach in the villages and for ministers 
who had come here, and the people urged him to preach to 
them also "all the words of this life." This was in February, 
1828. Considering that there was no alternative but to preacn 
or close the doors, Mr. Day accepted the invitation and occupied 
the pulpit to the satisfaction of the people, and with an evident 
Diviise li^ssing resting upon his labours, inasmuch as the 
congregation increased in numbers rapidly, and many began 
to enquire " What must I do to be saved t " Still there was 
no church formed, and the attention of the people began to be 
directed towards that object. Meanwhile a woman of the 
congregation brought her infant to Mr. Day and requested him 
to baptise it. This circumstance led him to think on the 
subject, and to examine the New Testament for proof of the 
scriptural ground of infant baptism, and from want of any such 
evidence he was constrained to make an open acknowledgment 
before the people of the change in his views, and of his 
intention to attend to the ordinance of believers' baptism by 
immersion. Seven others declared their willingness to accom- 
pany him ; accordingly they were baptised at Yeovil, and on 
the 19th July, 1829, Mr. Chapman of Yeovil attended, when 
the church was formed. In October, Mr. Day was called to 
the pastorate, and he was ordained in April, 1830." 

On the 26th April, 1832, the first stone of the present 
chapel was laid ; the comer stone was laid on the 30th of the 
same month, and the chapel was completed and opened for 
worship on June 20th, 1833. There were two rooms at the 
back which served for Sunday School until 1887, and for 
British Schools for several years between 1833 ^"^^ 1840. Mr. 
Day, in consequence of blindness and other infirmities, resigned 
in 1857, after 29 years' service, 16 of them without any reward 
but in his work. He died on 10th March, 1858, aged 71 years. 

Rev. James Hannam, who for many years was minister of 
the Baptist Church, Bourton, Dorset, succeeded Mr. Day here 


Nonconformists in Wincanton. 

in February, 1858, and continued until his death on February 
9th, 1872, aged 63 years. There are marble tablets to the 
memory of these worthies in the chapel they loved so well. 

Rev. George Charlesworth became pastor in September, 
1872, and closed his ministry in August, 1878. 

Rev. George Hider succeeded in March, 1879, and 
remained till June, 1886. 

Rev. John Brown followed in June, 1887. During his 
pastorate, very great changes were effected in the buildings ; 
the new school rooms in the front were erected at a cost of 
about ;f 600, and the chapel renovated, which involved an out- 
lay of about ;^40o. He left in consequence of broken health, 
in 1900, to the regret, not only of the church where he laboured, 
but of the whole neighborhood. 

Rev. Joseph Beauprd succeeded, commencing his pastorate 
on June 23rd, 1901. He is the present minister. All the 
institutions of the Society are maintained by him and a staff 
of lay workers. 


Inns op the Parish. 

Ttie Inns of ttie Paristi. 

It is obvious that a history of Wincanton would be veiy 
incomplete if all reference to its public-houses was omittea. 
Wincanton has been noted for several years as having a large 
number of places of worship, but it will be seen that the 
number of public-houses has by far exceeded the churches and 
chapels. It may even be true, that — 

" Where God erects a house of prayer, 
The devil builds a chapel there ; 
It will be found, upon examination, 
That the devil has the larger congregation." 
Be that as it may, let us tell our story. 

In tiie years 1574-7 there were but 100 Inns in the County 
of Somerset. Besides these were 16 taverns and 215 tippling 
houses or ale-houses. The latter were for the most part kept 
bv women, who kept open during the greater part of tiie night. 
The proprietors were required by law to have a lantern hanging 
at the door until 9 o'clock in the evening, at which time they 
were expected to close. At these houses home-brewed ale was 
retailed at a half-pennv per gallon ! Inns were for the use of 
travellers, who required beds for themselves and stabling for 
their horses. At these Inns, doctors met their patients and 
lawyers their clients. At some of these Inns the signs were of 
a gorgeous description and very costly. 

In 1558, there was in this parish only one Inn metftioned 
by name and that was ** The Hart." It was a comer house 
situated on the South side of the High Street, and at that time 
held by the heirs of Henry Williams. On the opposite side 
of the said High Street there was a brewhouse called <* Prior's 
House," probably beforetime the property of the Prior of 
Stavordale, but at the time in question held by one John Vining, 
a name of which there was an unconscionable number at that 
time and after. It may be that where "The Hart" stood 
became the site of " The White Horse," it being a common 
occurrence to change the name. 

"The Angel.'' 

In High Street. The site now occupied by one shop of 
Mr.G.F.Benjafield. Kept in or about 1678 by Jasper Stacey. 
1774 — Andrew Ivy. 
1 792— Angel Lane is mentioned in the accounts of the Feoffees* 


Inns op thr Parish. 

1797 — flames Thorn. 

1 801 — ] oseph Hutchings. Census of that year. 

i8xx^ bhn Way. Census of that year. 
Apparently Way was the last tenant who held a license in this 
house, for people to be "drunk on the premises." Mr. 
Melhuish, after this, kept a wine and spirit store here. He 
was followed by Mrs. John Goodfellow, who had a ladies' 
school. Some time in the thirties, Mr. George Russell, senr., 
opened a drapery shop, and called it " London House." AStex 
several other changes of tenants it still bears this name, 

'^The Bear Inn/' Market Place. 

1720 is the date on the sundial on the front, bearing the 
initials P.R.D. (Roger and Diana Perrior.) 

1 745 — ^John Webb's name for Poor rate stands fcx the Bear. 

1767 — liis name is still found against it. A FeoffeeOf' 
meeting held here in that year. 

1770 — Mr. and Mrs. Leach were here,, aud in that yew 
both appear to have died. Then Mr. James Bacon^ late butler 
to the Rev. 'Mir. Sandford, near Taunton« entered^ and was ber^ 
in X774. 

In 1784, Mr. Oliver, who succeeded Mr. Bacon, was theu 

In 1 791, Mr. James Lintem, afterward* landlord of the 
Greyhound Hotel, was in possession. He held it till i8oi, 
when John Perrior entered. His name again appears as land-^ 
lord in 181 1. In i8?o, Diana Perrior^ widow, entered on a 
new lease of 7 years. In 1824, Daniel English married the 
widow. Three years later the name of Mrs. English occurs. 
In 1830, the name of Daniel English again appears. It is said 
that he came from the Ship of East Stower to the Bear> and 
when he left went to the Half Moon at Horsington. The sam.e 
is said of Thomas Grist, who followed him here. During Mr.^. 
Grist's occupation the house was flourishing } the coaches 
stopped here, a dozen or so every day, but the Railways made 
great havoc with the trade. In 1861, Mr. William Newman 
was here. During his time, an old quaint part of the house 
was taken down and modernised. Atter Mr. Newman's death 
and that of Mrs. Newman, there were several changes ; first 
Mr. Miller, then Mr. Yells in May, 1879 T Mr. Ford, now of 
Sturminster, came in 1884 ^^^ ^^^^ in 1886. Mr. Henry 
William Andrews came on 19th April, 1886, and died on April 
5th, 1887. ^^^* Andrews, his widow, carried on the business 
till her death on June ist, 1902. The license is now held by 
the husband of one of her sisters^ namely, Mr. W. J. Dyke. 


iNNd OP THE pAkIS». 

The name Pettier was a well known one in the parish, and 
Roger was a frequent christian name in the family. The last 
of the name lived in Church Street. Until the last few years 
a headstone marked his grave. It bore the following inscription : 
" To the memory of Roger Perriof, who died June loth, 
i835> ag^ 73 years. 

«* Here lies a Man who kept his Word 
A& fkr ias Mortal could, 
To greive for him would be absurd, 
Because his Life was good ; 
He Uv'd and Dy'd an honest Man, 
Go thou and do the same ; 
^Twill recommend the Gospel plan, 
And yield thee endless Fame.'* 


In Soutii Street, where Stuckey's bank stands. 

x6o8. Left by will of Thomas Ewens, of KingstoUi 
Yeovil, in trttst for the poot of Wincanton. 

1693. Conveyed by Robert Freke to Richard Chufchey 
and others. 

1699. Granted by Philip Bennett and others ioT lives to 
Thomas Beacon. 

1721. In posses^^oa of Mr. Wm. Plucknett, who held it 
for lives. 

1752. Mr. Henry Plucknett, jeweller, took a 99 years' 
lease, depending on the lives <rf his wife and Dr. Roseamzer 
for £^0 in hand and 10/- per anntion. 

1774. Mr. Hindley was the holder of the lease. Land 
Ta3t Return. 

1823. Richard Ring is mentioned as having held it on 
the life of Mrs. Hindley, but who had recently died. About 
this date a new house was erected by a Mr. Barrett, to whom 
it was granted for three lives. The house cost Mr. Barrett 
;^5oo to build, and he paid a ground rent of £2 per annum. 

Stuckev's Banking Company purchased the interest of the 
lessees, and a few years since bought the freehold, when they 
greatly enlarged the house. 

"The Black Lyon" or "Lyon." 

Stood in the mariket place where Mr, J. C. Hinks' shop 
now stands. With the exception of the shop windows it looks 
very much as when built. ** Benjamin Lewys," or as the token 
issued in 1667 calls him •• Ben Lewes," was living there when 
the token was made. There were three of the same name 


Inns of the Parish. 

living in the parish at that time. Ben died in 1679. He belonged 
to a family of some position, himself being churchwarden in 

In 1 710, a " Mr. Smith " was landlord there. 

In 1736, Bernard James occupied the house, and was 
there in 1745. 

In 1774, Mr. William Day paid Land Tax on the house. 

By 1806, it had been transformed into a bank, and was 
occupied by Mr. Thomas Garrett. 

In 1822, James Longman married Mary Hine, and carried 
on the business of a draper. He died in 1844 when his widow 
succeeded him. She gave up to her son, S. H. Longman, who 
carried on the business for many years. He died in 1886, when 
his widow succeeded. She retirea, and disposed of the business 
in 1891 to Mr. J. C. Hinks, who is now in possession. 

'«Tlie Britannia" on Rock Hill. 

1827. Opened by Robert Gutch, continued by his widow, 
and by Mary (jutch his daughter till 1862, when it was closed 
by Mr. £• Crouch, who went there to live. 

"The Crown.*' 

Now No. 14, Market Place — Shewen's Ironmongery. 

Although this has not been used as a public-house for 
many years, it was formerly one of the most flourishing in the 
town. If it does not date back as far as the White Horse, 
(which it probably does,) it had existed long enough by 1662 
to have changed its name. It can be clearly traced back to 
the date mentioned as " The Crown," and some time previous 
to that date as " The King's Arms." It was a place of some 
importance, inasmuch as at covered a considerable portion of 
ground, including the whole of Mr. Shewen's present premises, 
from the High Street back to the end of the garden ; Mr. 
Blake's, if not Mr. Knight's house ; and Mr. Eden's stores, 
in the White Horse Lane. There were several stables in 
connection with it, known as " The long stable," " The shelf 
stable," and "The hackney stable." In 1662, the occupier 
was " Gartrude Baunton." The surname is that of the owners 
of Roundhill, who succeeded the Dyers, to whom they were 
related. It is probable that this Gartrude was the widow of 
Henry Bayntun, who died in 1641 ; several of that surname 
are mentioned in the parish register as "gent." Her name 
does not appear in the parish register, xmless she married again, 
in which case the entry would be made under her new name. 

In 1678, it was occupied by Peter Stone, who at that time 


Inns of the Parish. 

had several licensed houses, as this list shows. Here he died 
in 1695. One wife died before him, but he appears to have 
married another, who outlived him. Peter does not appear to 
have been the ownety the property apparently having passed in 
1662 to John Vining, the owner of the White Horse, who at 
that time divided the buildings, granting the upper part to 
Walter Henderson, shoemaker, for 99 years. 

In 1707, the lower and larger premises, namely, "The 
Crown," were owned by Samuel Cross, but they were in that 
year transferred to Thomas Gapper, of Suddon. Margaret 
Way was the tenant. For a long period I find no trace of 
the owners or occupiers, nor any inkling as to when it ceased 
to be a licensed house. 

In 1736, Samuel Cross was carrying on the trade of a 
turner on the premises. In 1745, his son John had succeeded 
him. It appears as if the last named Cross was followed by 
a Mr. Harry Cooper, upholsterer, who was an elderly man. 
On the first Sunday in August, 1794, he had been to Redlynch 
in a *' one-horse shay" and was returning, when he was thrown 
out, one of his legs broken, and he was otherwise injured. 
He died soon after, leaving his widow in the business, which 
she carried on ''With an assistant until she can ^et a 
purchaser." In the following year. Angel Cooper, the widow, 
disposed of her business to a Mr. Robert Dowdiug. In the 
census of 1801, Robert Dowding is described as a joiner. 

In 1811, Harry Cooper, auctioneer, was living in the 
house. He was Secretary of the French Masonic Lodge, 
** Le paix desiree." Mrs. Cooper appears to have been in 
business in the house in 1830. She must have been followed 
shortly after by Mr. George Crocker, who removed to Yeovil 
about 1840, when Mr. Thomas Richards entered and remained 
till his death in February, 1889. In the next month the 
business was divided ; Mr. J. W. Eden purchasing the 
grocery, which had been for a few years carried on in the 
house below, and Messrs. Wm. and George Gilbert taking 
the ironmongery. They remained till February, 1895, when 
they dissolved partnership ; Mr. John Shewen then entered 
and is still in possession. 

"The Dolphin Inn.'* 

This house was in 1774 called the Rainbow Inn, and was 
kept by William Harvey. 

In 1794, it was occupied by Robert Bessant under the 
name of " Daulphin." He remained till 1817, in which year 
he died. 


Inns op Trie Parish. 

In 1826, George Lapham was living there. 

18^0— John Lapham's name appears in a County Direct- 
ory. Query should he not have been described as George ? 

1840— George Forward was in possession. 

1841 — Thomas Nimrod White went there and remained 
till March, 1861, when he drowned himself in a water-tank 1 

1861 — Charles Hunt, who left the Swan Inn, now entered, 
and carried on baking business as well. He died on his 51st 
birthday, February 2nd, 1875. '^^^ house and business were 
then sold. A Mr. Palmer occupied the premises for three 
years, when 

1878 — Mr. Charles Howes migrated from the New Inn 
to the Dolphin, and for many years carried on the dual 
businesses. Some years ago he declined the baking in 
favour of farming. 

**Tlie Fiire BeUs." 

Now Mr. Hutchings' Tailoring Establishment in Market 

In i774» kept under this name by Rachel, widow of 
William Jones. It had formerly been Imown as the <' Hare 
and Hounds/' and was afterwards again changed to <' The 

"The Fountain." 

1678— Owned by Peter Stone. Authority, Borough 

"The George.** 

Now owned and occupied by Mr. George Lock. 

In 1671, Mr. William Swanton lived there. Hence the 
orchard at the back was until recent years known as 
" Swanton 's Orchard." "Spring Close" was also called 
" Swanton's." 

In 1678, it was kept by "Swanton's heirs," Mr. Swanton 
having died in 1671. At another time "George de Forweille" 
lived there. 

In 1792, Thomas Yeo kept the house, as an advertisement 
in the " Salisbury and Winchester Journal " for October 15th 
of that year shows. The advertisement runs, viz. — 

" Andrew Ivey, Wincanton, deceased. To be perempt- 
orily sold by auction by J. Hoddinott, auctioneer, at the 
White Horse Inn. The fee simple and inheritance of the 
following lands situate in Wincanton, late the lands of Mr. 
Andrew Ivey, deceased. The George Inn, situate near the 
market place, now rented by Thomas Yeo, &c." A different 
advertisement appeared a week later with the following 


Inns op the Parish. 

description : — " The George Inn being a stone built roomy 
house, with outhouses, large stable, garden, &c. Situate near 
to and very convenient for the niarket, now rented by Thomas 
Yeo as tenant at will.** From that time it has been used for 
the business of butcher. For many years, embracing three 
generations, the Oborn family lived there, but from 1877 it 
has been occupied by Mr. Lock. The house was greatly 
enlarged about the year 1848. 

<'The George Inn,** 

At the foot of MiU Street. 

In 1836-7, it was opened by William Lindsey, carrier, 
(who had vacated the White Hart previous to its demolition.) 
He carried it on till his death. He was succeeded by his 
widow. Henry Vining followed, and he was succeeded by 
his widow. 

In i86t, William Hale was in occupation, and was 
followed by his widow. She was successively followed by 
Messrs. Foot, Hole, Warren, and William Rex. 

On October i6th, 1897, Robert George Henning entered 
and still occupies the premises. 

«*The Golden Lion." 

1736. William Day. 
1745. — Harebottle. 

"The Greyhound " 

Has been for many years one of the principal Inns of 
the town ; probably so named in honour of the Churchey 
family. It formerly bore the royal arms because the body of 
the Duke of Sussex once lay there, and Queen Victoria as a 
child spent a night there. On the front, too, was painted 
" Inland Revenue Office.*' 1743 is the year in which I find 
the first reference to it in the parish books. 

In 1760, a Mr. Wm. Way advertised it to be let as ** A 
new built house.'* 

In 1780, John Thorne kept it. 

In 1783, "Assembly held there every Thursday nearest 
the full moon.** 

In 1797, James Thome advertised it as " Built within a 
few years.** (37 years is a trifle !) 

In 1801, Thomas Moore was living there. 

In 1803, James Lintern died there, (see his epitaph under 
the yew tree in the churchyard.) His wife Elizabeth after- 
wards carried on the business, at least till i8o8. She died 
in 1812. 


Inns of the Parish. 

In 1810, John Horwood was there. His widow succeeded 

In 1820, it was offered to let or for sale. 

In 1824, John Albin Baily was in possession and remained 
until May 8th, 1872, when Mr. Thomas Sherring entered. He 
dying there, Mrs. Sherring carried on the business for some 
years till 

24th January, 1889, when Mr. W. T. Goodfellow took on. 

31st May, 1894, ^r. W. A. Woolfrey entered. 

14th June, 1897, Mr. W. H. Dudderidge succeeded. 

20th July, 1898, Mrs. Hunter followed and is in possession. 

"The Greyhound Tap," 

At the top of Rockhill, North Street. 

1861. — Opened for Railway men at the making of the 
Railway, and kept by John Dowding as an adjunct to the 
Greyhound. Mr. John Baily retired there in 1872, and died 
there on Aug. loth, 1882, aged 81 ; buried at Cricklade. 

" Half Moon." 

1792. — "To be sold by auction by Mr. J. Hoddinott, 
Auctioneer. A dwelling house and garden near the Upper 
Turnpike gate, now occupied by George Hutchings, some 
time since a public-house called the Half Moon. To view 
apply to Mr. Perrior at the White Horse." Salisbury Journal, 
Oct. 15th, 1792. 

" Hare and Hounds.*' 

See also "Five Bells" and "Trooper." 

1 710. — Thomas Andrews was the occupier, and after his 
decease Ann his widow. 

"The Hart" 

1558. — On the South side of the High Street, occupied 
by the heirs of Henry Williams. See Burgage List. 

"Hit or Miss." 
No. 27, Mill Street. 
1830 or about, kept by one Stone. 

"The Hog in Armour." 

The house at Shatterwell Shoots. 

The only account of this .is a tradition. Within living 
memory there was a hole in the wall outside, where it was 
said the topers rested their cups. There were also steps 
leading to a footpath to Dancing Lane. Alas ! this path has 
gone out of use. 


Inns of the Parish. 

•'The King's Arms." 

In Market Place some time before 1662. See "The 

"The King's Arms." 

High Street, where Mr. Maddocks lives. 

1830. — Opened by William Loxton, baker, and continued 
till some time in the forties, when he left for Sherborne. It 
was a celebrated place for the baking of Sunday dinners. 

Continued till about 1861 by one Pedwell, publican and 

"The King's Head." 

In 1768, standing on part of the ground on which the 
Town Hall now stands, being held for a long period for the 
benefit of the church, but at the date mentioned said to have 
"fallen into a ruinous condition." In 1705 rented by Jerom 
Hill, later by William Hill and Edward Matthews. In 1768, 
it was granted at £$ per annum to the Feoffees of the Fairs 
and Markets, when new buildings were erected thereon. It 
has borne the same ground rent of £s per annum from that 
time to this day. 

"The Lamb." 

Site unknown. 1736 to 1745 — Robert Pearce, occupier. 
(Old rate books.) 

"The London Inn." 

Position not known. Query what had been called the 
"Angel Inn" and afterwards "London House"? In 1816, 
advertised to be Let, apply to Mr. Blandford. (See Salisbury 
Journal of that year.) 

"The New Inn." 

1793 — Kept by Charles Thick. 

1797*— Charles Thick. 

1 801 — ^William Stacey. 

181 1 — „ „ (census) 

1822— Mr. MuUett. 

1830— Samuel Stacey. 

1861 — Elizabeth Stacey. 

1880 — Charles Howes. 

1882 — ^John Parsons. 

1900, 30th April — ^Joseph Brooks. 

" Prince of Wales." 
On Bayford Hill or Conduit Hill. 


Inns of the Parish. 

1848, or near that time, opened by George Green, a 
carpenter, by the name of " The Rising Sun," and kept by 
him until his death, continued by his widow. The present 
house was built by Isaac March. It has had many tenants, 
and is now kept by G. R. Sweetman. 


The Queen." 

1678. Owned by Peter Stone, (Authority — Borough 

"The Railway Inn" 

In Tything. 1861, or about, by Giles Stacey. Continued 
by Charles Howes, and since then by several tenants. The 
new house, built by Mr. Clementina in 1897, is now kept by 
Mr. Atkins Hill. 

"Railway Refreshment Rooms." 

'About 1861. Since occupied by 
Charles Cross 
Henry Hunt 
James Mead 
— Martin 
Thomas Johnston 
1897 — Frank Henry Francis. 

"The Rainbow."-T5« ''Dolphin." 
1774 — William Harvey. (Wincanton Land Tax.) 

"The Red Lion," in the Market Place. 

1794 — Occupied by Elizabeth Winter. 

1801 — „ „ Elizabeth Edwards. 

1807 — Henry Cox gave up possession. 

181 1 — ^Joseph Hutchings. Died 1843, aged 79. 

1 843— Alice Lapham. Died 3rd September, 1873. 

Gideon Gale. 
i86i — Thomas Sherring. 

Samson Fry. 

Walter Godwin. 

Henry Lewis. 

John Thomas. 


Inns of the Parish. 

1880— John Parsons. 
1883, April 30th— Joseph Brooks. 
1889, Feb. 25ih— John Burt. 
1892, Feb. 29th — Sarah Ann Burt. 

Sarah Ann Stephens. 
1902, April 28th — Charles Cowdrey. 

"The Rising San." 
Opened about 1848 in that name by George Green, con- 
tinued after his death by his widow, afterwards changed to 
the « Prince of Wales." 

"Thie Seven Stars." 

Kept by William Ivy in 1659, as his tokens (still to be 
sometimes seen) show. Situation unknown. 

William Ivy was churchwarden of the parish in 1668, 
and in 1687. He probably died between the last named year 
and 16931 during which period the parish register is lost. 

"The Sun." 

1730— "Kept by one Gilbert." Castle Gary Visitor^ 
April, 1898.) 

"The Swan Inn." 

Where Mr. Woodcock's coachbuilding is now carried on. 

1678 — Mr. Tucker. Query Robert who was buried on 
January i8th, 1683. 

1712, Aug. 4th— Referred to as FeoflFees* meeting held 
there. Name not given. 

1725, Oct. i8th — FeoflFees' meeting held there. 

1751 — Mr. Dove. (FeoflFees' accounts, 1763.) 

1752— » ( It t» 1756,1759-) . 

1774 — William Harvey. 

1790 — Sold by Wilham Andrews, cooper, to Silas 
Blandford, senr. 

1791 — George Deane, jun., owner, John Coward, occupier. 

i8ii — Mrs. Elizabeth Way. 

181 3 — ^John Perrott. 

181 7 — Silas Blandford, surgeon, sold it for £1^100 to 
William Thorn of Compton Pauncefote. 

1820 — Benjamin Maggs, owner. 
„ Thomas Hill took it for 7 years' lease at ;^30 per 

1827— Thomas Hill was still there. 

1829 — William Luxton. 


Inns of the Parish. 

1830 — William Lapham. 
1840 — — Forward. 

Thomas Green. 

Eneas Reakes. 
1878 — C. H. Woodcock purchased the property. 

"Trooper Inn." 

Now Mr. R. R. Hutchings' establishment. Formerly- 
named at different times the "Five Bells" and "Hare and 

1723 — Occupied by Samuel White. Used as a butcher's 
shop and slaughter house. 

1774— Widow Mitchell. " Five Bells." 

1796— William Jones. Rebuilt about this date. 

1801 — Rachel Jones, widow. 

181 1 — ^Thomas Slade. Died in 1834. 

1840 — Catherine Slade. Died in 1855. 

1841 — Thomas Nimrod White. 4 cottages were taken 
down to build stables, when a garden was made into a stable 
yard and a bowling alley erected. 

1841 — ^James Stay. 

1861 — Richard Jenkins Bedford. 

1872 — ^Thomas Sherring left for the Greyhound, when it 
was closed as a licensed house and sold 

1873 — to Mr. James Sweetman, who opened a Temperance 
Hotel there. 

1878 — Messrs. Hutchings purchased it and removed into 
it soon after. Mr. R. R. Hutchings, who remains. 

" Uncle Tom's Cabin.** 
May, 1861 — Thomas Green opened it. Since by George 
Ingram Green, who is in possession. 

*'TJie Victoria Inn.** 
In Ty thing. Now Perrett's smithy. 
About 1840 onwards kept by James Cousins. 

"The White Hart." 

This is the most perplexing of all the public-houses 
to deal with, for the reason that there have been several of 
the same name. 

The one first in point of time was situated where Mr. J. 
W. Eden's shop now is. The first reference I can find to it 
is in 1678, when it was owned, I believe, by Robert Ivy, and 
tenanted by Peter Stone. The said Peter was, as far as 


Inns of the Parish. 

holding many licenses in the town, the Messrs. Matthews of 
that day. Peter died here in 1695. Probably, at Peter's 
death the license dropped. The ownership soon after changed 
into the Gapper family, and from Edmund Gapper of Charlton 
Adam, and Thomas Gapper of Bayford, on the 13th Nov., 
1718, it passed to Edward Tatum of Wincanton, apothecary. 
The deed of conveyance says — "All that messuage, &c., 
formerly called by the name of * The White Hart,* adjoining 
the Crown Inn, now the house of Samuel Cross, on the East, 
the house of John Galley on the West." It is probable 
that Mr. Tatum had occupied the house for some years, even 
in the time of Thomas Gapper, who died at Suddon in 1710. 
In 1758, Richard Lewis, silversmith, owned the property, the 
occupier being Thomas Harris. In 1799, John Carpenter 
purchased it with the house adjoining on tne West- He 
kept both houses in his own hands. The upper shop he lived 
in and carried on the business of cutler, in 1801 and 
1 81 1, as the census of each of these years proves. Mary 
Carpenter at both these periods is described as shopkeeper, 
and living where Mrs. Buck's shop now is. 

In 1812, John Carpenter died intestate, when the property 
came to his only daughter, Mary, the wife of Richard Ring, 

In 1830, Mr. Henry Goodfellow lived there. In 1835^ 
Edward Richards. After him, George Bond, shoemaker^ 
lived there for many years. 

In 1835, Mr. Edwin Deane bought both houses of 
Richard Ring, senr., and Richard Ring, junr., for the sum of 
;f 590> when he rebuilt the lower house to correspond with his 
other buildings adjoining. 

In 1878, Mr. Thomas Richards' new shop was built on 
the site. 

On Mr. Richards' death, Mr. Eden entered, and is now 
both owner and occupier. 

**The White Hart." 

Another *' White Hart" stood where Messrs. John 
Walton's shop now is. 

In 1754, I find a reference to it as a meeting place for 
the Feoffees. No landlord's name is given in the Feoffees 
accounts till 1764, when the name of Mr. Robert Carryer is 
mentioned. It may be interesting to show how necessary the 
Feoffees of that day found it to " moisten their clay." Here 
are copies of two bills incurred by them whilst attending to 
their public functions. — 


Inns of* the Parish. 

** 1780, 20 Aprill — Suppers 4 

Punch 3 

Beer 3 


Tobacco and fire i 

Servant i 

12 4" 

On the back of the bill is the name of Mr. Carryer. 

Another bill of an earlier date is ^ill more interesting, 
"igth Oct., 778. Expenses at the White Hart, Wincanton* 
Suppers 3 o 

Punch 5 o 

Beer, &c., Brandy 4 o 
Firing, &c. i o 

Maid 10 14 o 

19 Oct., 1778 — Received of Mr. Messiter. 

Robt. Carryer." 
The Feoffees of these degenerate days find their business 
much more dry than did their predecessors of 120 years ago. 
This, however, is a digression. 

In 1801, the census shows George Way to be in possession. 
In 181 1, Joseph Lemon. 

In 1830, James Dyer, who some now living remember. 
In 1836-7, Mr. William Lindsey lived there, when the 
house was rebuilt but not re-licensed, Mr. Chick, hairdresser^ 
occupied, and kept a bear in the window, from which he was 
said to manufacture "Bear's Grease" as his customers 
required it. After that, for many years, Mr. Uriah Jacobs 
kept a china shop there, in which he was succeeded by Mr. 
George Gilbert. 

Messrs. Walton are now in occupation. 

"The White Hart" in Church Street. 
1840, or about, kept by Amor, butcher and publican. 

"The White Horse." 

The name of " White Horse" first appears in 1655, when 
John Vining was in possession, having succeeded his ifather^ 
Robert Vining. He was in his turn succeeded by " Widdow 
Dickory " in 1678, she being some connection, apparently, of 
the said John, inasmuch as two years previously, when her 
son died, he was called John Vining Dickory. She died in 1682.. 
In 1684, another John Vining died, and he is described as 
" son of John Vining of ' The White Horse.' " This John, 
senr., died in 1703, when yet another John Vining carried on 
the business till his death in 1720. I think it probable that 
James Vining came next, who became one of the Feoffees in 


Inns of the Parish. 

1725, but who did not live till the next appointment in 1742. 
George Deane was in occupation in 1736. How long he had 
been in possession, and whether as owner or tenant, I have 
no information. I find his name as churchwarden in 1735, 
continuing till 1739. He was still there in 1745. John Deane 
succeeded in 1746, I believe, and remained many years. In 
1765, he became one of the Feoffees. He died in 1785, The 
date 1733, cut in the keystone of the arch over the door, is 
probably correct, or nearly so, as the time when the house was 
rebuilt by Ireson for George Deane. Probably also, the 
carved stone horse was then erected for the first time. There 
is every appearance of it having been put in blocks and 
sculptured after being in situ. This carving remained 
till 1872, when it was taken down. Its erection, obviously, 
was not the origin of the name of the Inn. 

Roger Perrior became the landlord after John Deane's 
death in 1785, and he was there in 1792. 

In 1801, when the census was taken, the name of Thomas 
Deane appears as the occupier. 

In 1 81 1, in the next census returns, William Card was 
in occupation. 

In 1819, Robert Tite was owner and occupier. 

In 1829-32, 1 find the name of Thomas Dring as occupier 

1832 — Elisha Acourt. 

1834— Mary Acourt. 

1838— John Smith. 

1840 — ueorge Major. 

1842 — Mr. Samuel Sly opened the house as a wine and 
spirit merchant. 

1864 — ^^' Samuel Deanesly took the business, and his 
father retired. 

1887 — Mr. Richard Deanesly succeeded his father, and 
continues the business. 

"The White Lyon," 

1774 — Charles Edwards. (Wincanton Land Tax.) 
Position not known. 


WiNCANTON Town Clocks. 

>Arincanton Town Cloclcs. 

In CoUinson^s History of Somerset, published in 1791, 
when referring to the parish church of Wincanton, the writer 
says — " At the West end is a plain square tower, containing a 
clock and five bells." 

As there are no marks, externally or internally, in the 
masonry of the present church tower of any arrangements for 
a clock, it may be questioned if the reference to a clock was 
correct. There are, however, to this day, lying about in the 
tower, several clock wheels, which presumably belonged to the 
clock mentioned by CoUinson. In 1793, the top of the tower 
was taken ofif, and a new story added. 

In the year 1732, there were but four bells in the tower, 
and one of those was " cracked " or " craized." On the 8th 
day of August in that year, the churchwardens of that day, 
namely, Benjamin Combe and Thomas Harris, agreed with 
William Cockey of Frome, bell-founder, to re-cast the fourth 
or tenor bell, and add a fifth, to make the whole tunable, and 
keep them so for a twelve-month. No mention is made in 
the agreement of any clock, though it was no doubt there. 
Perhaps it was in a turret at the top of the tower ; if so, it 
remained until the new story was added to the tower and the 
present six bells were cast and hung in the year 1793. Having 
no money value, it is not strange that the iron wheels were 
left about. Had they been of brass, or even lead, they would 
have been probably transmuted into beer by the workmen 
long ago. What went with the clock bell, there is nothing to 
show. It is evident, however, that there was no new clock 
added in 1793. These scraps are all I can trace of the Church 
clock. But this was not the only Town clock. 

There is every probability that the old town of Wincanton 
was a collection of houses at the bottom of the town. Here 
the roads from Exeter, Bristol, and the West generally con- 
verged. Here the church was built ; here were the poor- 
houses and stocks ; here the mill, and such water supply as 
there was. In the upper part of the town, the houses instead 
of facing the street had gables projecting ; even within living 
memory there were gabled houses at the Bear Hotel, at the 
East Gate, and the house of Mr. Joseph Osmond's, the latter 


WiNCANTON Town Clocks. 

still remaining. Only as communication was opened by 
constant road waggons and coaches did the houses form regular 
streets, and then were builded low, two-storied houses, such 
as those just above Mr. Alfred Edwards*, of which sort were 
nearly all the houses in High Street only a century ago. The 
town appears to have been growing into importance in the 
latter days of the reign of Queen Elizabeth and onwards. We 
are indebted to weaving and spinning for the extension of the 
town, and of course with these industries the growth of 

Where our Town buildings now stand there was in the 
year 1616, and how long before I will not attempt to define, 
two or three unimportant cottages, one of them a public-house 
called "The King's Head" ; whether by that is meant the 
head of the King, or the head, — ^that is, principal, leading, or 
King's Inn, — in the same way as the principal mill was the 
« Kmg's Mill,** or the best road the " King's highway," I am 
not sure. Here, however, was the " King's Head " Inn, and 
near by was the ** Prior's House,** no doubt the property of 
the Pnor of Stavordale. This cottage property belonged to 
the churchwardens, in trust for the church. In the said year, 
1616, the churchwardens leased this property for 99 years to 
one Bamabie Lewis* No mention in the deed of that year is 
made of any town clock, but in the year 1644, a portion of 
this property was granted by Walter Tyte of Wincanton, gent, 
and Lewis Ludwell of Bruton, mercer, to John Dyttye and 
Walter Ivaye in the following terms. — , 

"All that dwelling house, wherein the said John Dyttye 
now dweUeth, conteyning three rooms, viz., a haule, a shoppe, 
and a chamber over them." 

In this deed there was a reservation unto the grantors, 
that there should be " Sufficient roome and authority for the 
letting, placing, mayntayning and keeping of the clock, in, 
upon and against several of the premises, at, in, and upon the 
place where the same clock now standeth." Apparently, 
therefore, the clock had been recently placed there for the con- 
venience of those who lived East of the church, and for the 
market people generally. The Bamabie Lewis referred to 
was at that time patron of the living of Wincanton ; from him, 
I believe, the present Bishop of Southwark is lineally descended. 

From 1688 to 1701, the premises on which the clock stood 
were in the possession of a William Biddlecombe, whose name 
is still retained in " Biddlecombe's Orchard " (not now an 
orchard, however^ on Bayford Hill, adjoining " Town Close " 
or "Ways Garaens." Now a clock not only requires a 


WiNCANTON Town Clocks. 

maker, but some one to look after it, to wind, clean and repair 
it, and I am happily able to say by whom these duties were 
performed for a long period. 

John Beacon had the care of it till the year of his death, 
1700. He carried on the business of a blacksmith. 

Alice Beacon^ widow of John, carried on his business until 
1 71 1, when she died. During this period she had the town 
clock under her care ; no doubt she did it by proxy, probably 
by her son, — 

Thomas Beacon^ who, taking on in 171 1, continued at any 
rate until 1732, 

The Beacons, however, who enjoyed the salary of 24/- per 
annum, were not competent to repair the said clock. William 
Cockey, before mentioned, attended to this department. He 
was a skilled workman, and probably migrated to Frome, and 
perhaps founded the business still carried on by a firm of the 
same name to this day. Cockey was churchwarden here in 
1692, 1693, a^d 1703' 

In 171 1, he repaired the clock at a cost of 29/-. 
1 719, he re-cast the bell for 7/-. 
1 72 1, he again repaired the clock for 7/6. 

This clock, having been in use for about a century, was 
either worn out or was not considered good enough for the 
people of that day, was superseded in 1741, when not only was 
a new clock made but a new clock-maker comes on the scene. 

John Andrews (pronounced Andress) made the new clock at 
acost of ;(fi2-i2s. Next year he made a new vane costing 
23/6. People not only wanted to know the time, but how the 
wind blew. He also put a new lead ball, weighing 30-lbs., for 
which he charged 9/6, and for two bookes of leafe gold he was 
paid 7/-. It looks as if at this early date the appearance of 
the clock was approximating to that of the clock of 1877. 

Osmond CrosSy in 1746 a well-known Wincanton clock-maker , 
had charge of the clock. It would not do to leave a twelve 
guinea clock to the care of an ordinary blacksmith. In 1755, 
O.C. put a new clapper to the " Ting Tang," so we see from 
this that the " Ting Tang '* was quite an ancient institution. 
This bell was used for calling the people together. It was 
also used as a, fire bell, for fires were frequent in the days of, all 
but, universal thatched houses, (the present bell can be used in 
this way) but it was chiefly used for calling the people to 
church, the lad who rang it receiving 3d. each time for his 
services. He had to use some judgment in this. He generally 
began ten minutes before 1 1 and 6 on Sundays, and to stop so 
as to allow the clock to strike the hour properly. I am not 


Win^Canton Town Clocks. 

quite sure, but I think the "Ting Tang" was used till the 
destruction of the hall by fire. 

In 1756, William Mitchell put a new line to the clock at a 
cost of 5/i. 

Mr. Richard Lewis, clockmaker, attended to the clock at 
the extravagant salary of 21/- per annum, in 1760. 

In 1761, he supplied a new "Ting Taiig" at a cost of 
;f 7-17-3. This must have involved the re-casting, and probably 
enlarging, the bell, or else why such a large outlay ? 

In 1771, Mr. Oatley's bill for painting the vanes amounted 
to 25/-. At the same time he painted and gilded the clock at a 
cost of ;f 2-6-9. 

Now we come to an astounding piece of business. In 
1768, some lawless people destroyed the old Market house, 
which till then stood in the Shambles. This involved the 
building of a new market house and town hall in that year. 
Now whether the clock was injured by taking down the 
cottages, does not appear, but the painting of the vanes above 
referred to, seems to show that the expense had been 
just incurred. I doubt if it had ; I rather incline to believe 
that the work had been done before the new buildings were 
erected. Anyhow, the twelve guinea clock had to be repaired. 
George Way, another clock-maker, repaired it, but when- 
ever done it was not paid for until 1796, his bill being ;^i9-i9-9 ! 
Mr. E. Hussey at the same time did the necessary wood- 
work, which cost ^21-17-2, and which was not paid for till 
1797. I doubt if our fore-fathers did not do without a town 
clock for some years ; if they did not, the clock-makers and 
clock-framers were very long-suflFering people a hundred years 
ago. At any rate, George Way did not receive his salary for 
attending to the clock till 1797, when the arrears amounted to 
;^i 1-8-0. 

John Way, in 1805, became caretaker at a guinea a year. 
Edward Cross took on in 1809, and in 181 1 repaired it at a 
cost of ;^i-i5s. 

R. Bush followed, and continued until 1821. In 1823, 
John Way put new work on the West side, (probably up till 
then it had but one face.) His bill therefor was ;^5-i4-9. 

John Perrett painted and gilded both faces for which he 
received ;^5-i3-9« 

John Way, in 1823, took charge of the clock, but did not 
send in his bill for 1 1 years. He was paid for his services 
during this long period ;^i9-9-o. He continued his office two 
years longer at £2 per annum. 

Thomas Way succeeded in 1837, and kept on till Midsummer, 


WiNCANToN Town Clocks. 

Joseph Weave then entered upon the duties, and he with 
his son Josiah between them continued till the Hall fire in 
August, 1877, a period of 32 years, which beat tiie record. 

Before passing on to the present clock it is necessary to 
say a little on the previous one. It stood in a turret, at the 
apex of the roof, at the extreme North end. There were four 
wooden pillars supporting a dome, which was covered with 
copper. In the month of May, 1877, it required repairing. 
Mr. Wm. Newman repaired the turret at a cost of £7-2-6, 
Mr. George Stagg cleaned and gilded the clock at a charge of 
;^8-ios. Mr. Newman was paid in July, but before the next 
quarterly meeting of the Feoffees in October, when Mr. Stagg's 
was settled, the clock and all its belongings were destroyed 
by fire. With hundreds of other people,! stood in the market 
place and saw the clock melt away, and heard the "ting tang" 
crash into the premises below. This was in August, 1877, 
So far then, we have seen that the church clock terminated 
in 1793, at what age we know not. One town clock lasted from 
1644 to 1 741 1 that is about a century ; the next from 1741 to 
1877, that is 136 years. 

The new or fourth Town clock was erected at the end of 
1878 by Messrs. Gillet & Brand, of Croydon, for which they 
were paid in January, 1879, ;^72-3-5. This was for two faces 
only, the North face was added later on. The clock, clock 
tower, and furniture of the Town Hall, cost ;^404-4-8. The 
money was given by 153 subscribers, of whom only 28 are 
living here now. 

Mr. William Weare took charge of the new clock, directly 
it was fixed, and except for an interruption of about two years, 
he has had the care of it from that time, which at the end of 
this year will be 23 years. For lighting, winding and regu- 
lating, he receives a salary of £6 per annum. 




One of our poets has said — 

** We take no note of time but by its loss, 
To give it then a tongue were wise in man, 
As if an angel spoke, I hear its solemn soimd." 

There have been many methods of measuring time, and 
it is considered a very low state of intellect where time is not 
measured. Many clocks and watches of the present day are 
marvels of skill, and very costly ; but it was not always the 
case that a clock or watch could be purchased for a few 
shillings, nor could time always be as accurately kept as now. 
Many have been the devices for measuring time in years long 
since past. Perhaps some of the earliest time keepers were 
the flowers which mark the time by their opening and closing, 
by which every hour of the day, if not of the night, is indicated. 
It is said that Julius Caesar kept time by a water clock as long 
ago as the commencement of the christian era, and the Bible 
tells of a sundial several hundred years before Caesar's time. 

It is not long since that sundials were abolished. I learnt 
myself to tell the time by lessons given me by my father on 
the sundial at Charlton Musgrove church, over 60 years ago, 
and there are fragments of other dials at some of the old 
churches and houses in the neighborhood. I recall now those 
of the house on the Batchy Balsam House, Mr. Cooper' s^ Roundhill, 
Temple Combe, and elsewhere. 

The oldest 8-day and 30-hour clocks have but one hand, 
the minutes have to be guessed at. The clock at the dame's 
school I went to, had but one hand, and this was, to me, as 
difficult as the sundial. Amongst the old clockmakers of this 
immediate neighborhood was a Noah Pridham, of Sherborne, 
many of whose clocks are to be found all round the neighbor- 
hood. They must have been comparatively modern, as I do 
not remember seeing a clock of his with one hand only. 

William Cockey is the first Wincanton clockmaker, whose 
name I have found on the clocks themselves. I have not 
found a date on either of them, but they may have been made 
at least as early as 1692, when he became churchwarden, or a 
few years before, or as late as 1721 or later. Of his make, 
there are those of Mr. Phelips, of Montacute House ; Mr. John 
Alford, of Bayford Hill ; Mr. Marriott, late of Roundhill 
Grange, now of Curry Rivel ; the late William Tuftin, of 



Bayford ; Mr. F. Salt, of High Street. 

Osmond Cross, 1746-1760. Of his clocks, there are those of 
Mr. Charles MuUins, of Silton, dated 1746. 
Mr. James Portnell, sold by auction, 16/3/1897. 
Mr. fe. Spencer Weare. 

John Andrews, 1741. I have not seen any house clock of 
his, but, as I said before, he supplied d. new Town clock in 
the year just mentioned. 

Richard Lewis, 1760. I have seen him described as a 
goldsmith. Of his clocks I have seen those of the late Mr. 
Aaron Bell, Church Street ; Mr. Henry Stacey, Mill Street ; 
Mr. Harvey Blake, High Street. Mr. E. Spencer Weare has 
also a watch, engraved, ** Richard Lewis/' the silver mark 
being 1765. 

Charles Lewis, 1774. Mr. E. Spencer Weare has one 
of his make at the present time. 

George Way, 1796 and in 1805. He attended to the Town 
clock. In 1 801, he supplied the Dial at the Congregational 
Church, where at this day it remains to speak for itself. He 
charged £5-5-0 for it, as the church accounts show. In the 
census for 1801, George Way is described as an Innkeeper, but 
there is no account of a clockmaker of that name. There can 
be but little affinity in the two trades, but I have no explan- 
ation to give. 

John Olding, 1801. In the census of that year he is des- 
cribed as a shopkeeper, but Mr, E. Spencer Weare has a clock 
bearing the name of John Olding on its face. 

William Doney, m the census of 1801, is described as a 
watchmaker, and as living where Mr. Robert Bassett now lives 
in the High Street. In 181 1, when the next census was taken, 
he had removed to South Street, where Messrs. New & Morgan's 
drapery establishment now is, and there he is described as a 
shopkeeper. Mr. E. Biggin, who recently resided in the 
Tything, has a 30-hour clock with mahogany case, with the 
name of Wm. Doney, Wincanton, thereon. 

Edward Cross, in the 181 1 census, is mentioned as a clock- 
maker ; probably he had no shop. It is said of him by old 
people that he went to Penselwood to clean a clock, and was 
never seen after. He had a brother, Martin Cross, who was 
also a travelling clockmaker. I remember him as a very 
quaint sort of man ; he died, I believe, sometime in the forties. 

Robert Bush, 1813-1821, looked after the town clock, and I 
believe that I have seen his name on case clocks, but I know 
of no example at present. 

Harry Bush was a clockmaker here about this time. Mr. 



John Macmillan, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, who was a 
Wincanton boy, said in the Castle Cary Visitor for August, 
1897, ^^^t he had a clock bearing the inscription, ''Harry 
Bush, Wincanton." 

Nathaniel Olding^ as near as I can get to it, was in business 
here about 1830. Several good clocks bear his name. Mr. 
W. T. Goodfellow has one of them in handsome rosewood 
case ; and I have another, much plainer. 

John Way 9 1809- 1836. I can only repeat here what I have 
said before, that he was connected with the town clock from 
1805 to 1836. 

Thomas Way is mentioned in the directory of Somerset 
for 1830. He then lived, I believe, in High Street. He was 
caretaker of the town clock from 1837 to 1845. To the best 
of my recollection, he afterwards lived in Church Street, in the 
house between the Co£Fee Tavern and Mr. Bottle's. I have 
some slight remembrance of seeing enamelled face Dutch 
clocks in his shop. 

Albert or Alberto Bioletti was, I believe, an Italian, who 
came here as an officer's servant during the French captivity, 
1805-1815. If in 1805, he was then about a8 years of age. In 
1830, he lived in South Street as a hair-dresser, selling clocks 
and watches also. He removed to the house, now the printing 
office of Mrs. Fred Shepherd, in High Street. He removed 
again, this time to the brick house next to Mr. Latcham's 
printing office. He was living there in 1861, but removed 
soon afterwards to Portsea. He had a son who was one of the 
chief hair-dressers and perfumers in " The Hove," Brighton. 
He was twice married. Mary, his first wife, died in 1834. 
Martha, his second wife, died in 1858. By his second wife he 
had two sons, Louis and George. One was apprenticed to the 
late Mr. George Royce, currier, in Church Street, afterwards in 
Mill Street ; the other was a tinman, apprenticed to the late Mr. 
Thomas Richards. When they grew up to manhood, the old man 
left the town. His gravestone in the churchyard tells us that he 
died in 1869 ^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^ 9^* There are, I know, two of his 
clocks in the town at this time : one at Miss Green's at the top 
of High Street, the other at Mr. Knighton's in Church Street. 

William Tower is another whose name appears in the 
Directory of 1830. My memory does not take me back to his 
time, but I remember his son Thomas, who was working as a 
coachbuilder about 1843 and after, at Mr. Meaden's, when 
he carried on business at Balsam House, the workshops 
being where Mr. Snook's stables and coachhouse now are. 
I do not remember having seen any clock bearing Mr. Tower's 



Gosue Soldini, a short stout Italian, is also described in the 
oft-mentioned Directory of 1830. I believe that on the late 
Mr. John Blake coming from Sherborne in 1843, and setting 
up business as a confectioner where Mr. Harvey Blake now 
lives, that Mr. Chick, hair-dresser, went out of the upper part 
of the house, and Mr. Soldini moved in. I remember him as 
an ardent I^oman Catholic, and that he went pretty regularly 
to his parish church at Bonham. He afterwards removed to 
the house where Mr. Bassett now lives. He left after living 
there a short time. It was reported at the time that he had 
gone back to Italy. His clocks and weather glasses may be 
seen all round the neighborhood. He did but very little in his 
^op, it being generally closed, whilst he, with his box of 
watches and jewellery, was tramping the country aroimd. 

Joseph Weare^ bom in 1796, came to Wincanton about 
1814. He appears in Directory, 1830, as clock and watch 
maker. The timepiece in the Baptist church bears his name, 
with the date 1833, ^^^ ^^ noticeable as having been presented 
by the *' Children and Teachers of the Sunday School," the 
children being the larger contributors. About 1840, he had a 
shop in South Street, where the County Court office now is. 
He removed to Church Street, where Mr. Bottle, tailor, now 
lives. The Directory shows him to be there in 1S59, his son 
losiah being with him. On his son's marriage, he retired to a 
house in Mill Street. He <iied on 15th July, 1886, aged 90. 
Many a thousand miles has he walked in the exercise of his 
tmsiness. He was but a little man, but of as sturdy health as 
of ingenuity. At one time, it is said, he employed 7 men. He 
not only made clocks, but clockmaker's tools, some of them 
being yet in the possession of his grandson, Mr. £. Spencer 
Weare. His clocks are to be found in all parts of the district. 

Josiah Weare^ son of Joseph Weare, appears to have been 
bom in Wincanton in 1821. He was early trained to the 
business by his father, but acquired greater proficiency at 
Southampton. He set up in business at Stalbridge, but 
returned home in 1856 and acquired his father's business. He 
was an exceedingly clever workman and as honest as the day. 
All who did business with him were able to put the most 
implicit confidence in him. At one time he had a very heavy 
stock of clocks and watches, many of them of great value. 
He died on 27th July, 1900, aged 79. 

William Weare, son of Joseph and younger brother of 
Josiah Weare, was also brought up to his father's trade. Quite 
young in life, he started business on his own account in the 
house the town side of Tout Hill House, where he remained 



about 8 years and then removed to his present shop, where 
for 40 years he has remained, and now is the oldest tradesman 
in the town. He has a considerable connexion in the country 
round, especially at Bruton. To him, for some years, the town 
clock has been entrusted. For many years he has been the 
Secretary of the Wincanton Friendly Society, in which he 
takes great interest. He bids fair to enjoy as long a period of 
life as his father. 

E. Spencer Weare, son of Josiah, was brought up in his 
father's business, and at the latter*s death in 1900 succeeded 
him. In 1895, he made and fixed the clock in the church 
tower at Stoke Trister. 

I regret that about 40 years ago so many good old clocks 
were broken up to give place to gingerbread American clocks, 
which after a few short years have found their way to the 
rubbish heap. 

This is but an imperfect sketch, but it may serve to 
remind us of those who, through several generations, did 
tbeir best to keep our forefathers " up to time. 

Many viUages aroimd us have had their clockmakers, or 
at any rate, there are many clocks still in existence bearing 
the names of clockmakers so called ; amongst these villages 
are Stoke Trister and Cucklington. 


Local Government in Wincanton. 


In early times, Wincanton was called a Borough. What 
powers were possessed by its officers there are not, as far as 
I have yet ascertained, any documents to show. That the 
Lord of the manor had the right to demand certain payments 
from the burgesses I have shown under another heading, and 
that he had power to enforce his claim is evident. To all 
appearance the Lord of the manor, whoever he happened to 
be, screwed all the money he could (it was not very much) 
out of the burgesses, and did as little as possible for it. The 
inefficiency of the manorial courts was made more apparent 
as time went on, in consequence of which other bodies and 
institutions rose to do what the old court failed in doing. 
Court Leets were held periodically, at which certain officers 
had to report. Hence I find in the accounts of the Feoflfees 
of the Fairs and Markets such entries as that under date 
October 17th, 1712. "Francis Creed's accounts produced at 
the Borough Court Leet." Creed being at that time the 
Market Lessee. 

There were two constables appointed for the borough, 
and One Tithing man, whose duty lay in the parish but out- 
side the borough. It was the duty of the officers duly to 
maintain the peace to the satisfaction of the magistrates. 
The trustees of the church managed the charities of the 
church, the churchwardens co-operating. The poor's charities 
were under another set of trustees appointed for life ; the 
Fairs and Markets affairs were managed by another set of 12 
or more, varying in number from time to time ; they, too, 
were appointed for life. They were nominated from time to 
time by the survivors of one group, and appointed by one of 
the High Courts. The duties of the latter included — the 
regulations of the fairs and markets ; providing against out- 
breaks of fires ; supplying public conduits, pumps, &c. ; 
cleansing the streets ; weighing and measuring articles of 
sale ; providing a bell-man in uniform to cry articles for 
sale ; sustaining a public clock. They had one officer or 
more as the occasion demanded, and within very narrow 
limits they had power to levy tolls and charges. They were, 
in brief, the handy men of the time, their duties being to do 
what others neglected to do. 

There being so many authorities without any central one 


Local Government in Wincanton. 

to keep the others up to their work, and so much poverty in 
the parish, it is no wonder that public matters were very 
unsatisfactory, or that would-be reformers were anxious to do 
something towards betterment It happened a century ago 
that there was one clever man in the town who had enough 
brains for fifty men, and who, under more favorable circum- 
stances, would have made a Rhodes or a Chamberlain. That 
man was Richard Messiter, the son of Moulton, and brother 
of George and Uriah Messiter. I shall refer to him in 
another place : it will be enough here to say that he was the 
moving spirit in a great work of local reform. All other 
efforts failing, he promoted a bill which was passed in Parlia- 
ment. That bill is now before me, and from it I cull the 
more important items. It is headed — 

"Anno Tricesimo Octavo." 

Georgii III. Regis. 

Cap. 46. 

"An Act for paving the Footways, and for cleansing, 

lighting, and regulating the streets, lanes, and other publick 

passages and places, within the Town of Wincanton, in the 

County of Somerset, and for removing and preventing 

Nuisances, Annoyances, and Obstructions therein. 

ist June, 1798." 
It is a bill of no less than 61 sections, of which section i 
contains the preamble, which shows not only what was 
required, but how and by whom it should be done. 

It says — " Whereas the footways in the several streets, 
lanes, and other publick passages and places, within the 
town of Wincanton, in the county of Somerset, are not 
properly paved, cleansed, and lighted, and are subject to 
various encroachments, obstructions, nuisances, and annoy- 
ances, and are in some places very incommodious and unsafe 
for travellers and passengers. And whereas it would be of 
great benefit, advantage, and convenience to the inhabitants 
of the said town, as well as to all persons resorting thereto 
and passing through the same, if the said footways were 
properly paved, and the said several streets, lanes, and other 
publick passages and places were well and sufficiently 
cleansed, lighted, and regulated, and all encroachments, ob- 
structions, nuisances and annoyances were removed, and in 
future prevented. 

May it therefore please your Majesty that it may be 
enacted, and be it enacted by the King's most excellent 
Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords, 
spiritual and temporal, and Commons, in this present Parlia- 


Local Government in Wincantqn.. 

ment assembled, and by the authority of the same ; that 
Nathaniel Webb, Samuel Bail ward, William Phelips, 
Nathaniel Dalton, Robert Gapper, Richard Messiter, John 
Dalton, Charles Phelips, John Messiter, Robert Gapper the 
younger, Uriah Messiter, William Webb, Robert Perfect, 
John Field, Philip Hurd, George Messiter, Robert Combe, 
John Brown, Richard Ring, William Andrew Westcote, 
Charles Philip Luff, Gerard Ellis, John Randall, Charles 
Caspar Clutterbuck, Christopher Morrish, Philip Pittman, 
William Knight, John Carpenter, Thomas Bracher, James 
Thorne, John Dove, Rc^er Perrior, and their several and 
respective successors, to he elected as hereafter mentioned, 
shall be, and the^ are hereby appointed Commissioners for 
putting this Act m execution." 

The bill goes on to state in detail what the powers of the 
Commissioners were to be* Thejr were, to have control, not 
only in the borough but half-a-mile in each direction outside, 
over pavements, roads, lamps, water courses, quarries, shop 
and other signs. Bow windows, trees, drains, and all sorts of 

We have, no doubt, made progress during the past 
century, but we have not travelled fost^ for to this day we 
have not such good sanitary arrangements as were provided 
for in the Bill, as the following quotations will show^ 

Section 20 says — " And be it further enacted, that the- 
scavengers, or person or persons employed in or contracting 
for cleaning the said streets, lanes, passages and places, shall 
twice in every week or oftener, as the said commissioners 
shall direct, and on such days as they shall appoint, bring or 
cause to-be brought some proper carriage into the said streets, 
lanes, passages or places, for the purpose of carrying away 
and removing the dirt, dust, ashes and filth, from the several 
houses in the said streets, lanes, passages or places, and shall 
also sweep, cleanse, and carry away the dirt and soil arising 
in the said several streets, lanes, passages and places, to snch 
place within or near the said. town as shall be by the said 
Commissioners appointed^ and be deemed proper for the 
reception and depositing the same^ upon pain of forfeiting 
any sum not exceeding forty shillings nor less than ten 
shillings for every o£Fence or neglect of duty therein." 

Section XXI. shows what were the duties of the inhabi- 
tants themselves. 

J* And be it further enacted. That from, and after the 
passing of this Act, all persons occupying houses, tenements^ 
outhouses, stables, buildings, or gardens, in or against any of 


Local Government in Wingantdn. 

the streets, lanes, passages and places within the said town 
or not exceeding half-a-mile from the said town, shall cause 
to be swept and cleansed, the footways, paths, and pavements 
in the whole length of the front of, and extending at least 
fifteen feet from their respective houses, tenements, out^ 
houses, stables, buildings or gardens, between the hours of 
seven and nine of the clock in the forenoon, twice or oftener, 
as the said commissioners shall require, in every week, and 
also^ cause the dirt and soil arising from such sweeping and 
deansing to be collected and put together (without obstru<5l- 
iog the way or road) that the same may be removed and 
carried away by the scavenger, or person employed in 
cleansing the said streets, lanes, passages, and places, or 
otherwise to be carried away by such persons respectively as 
the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them, shall 
from time to time direct, upon i>ain of forfeiting and paymg 
any sum of money, not exceeding forty shillings, for every 
neglect therein.'* 

Section XXIX* made stringent provision against hog 
st3res, mixens, and such like nuisances, five shillings a day 
being inflicted upon all defaulters. 

Section XXX* enacted that in future no houses should 
be covered with thatch ; lead, slate, or tile only were to be 
used, under a penalty of ten shillings a day. 

Section XXXI. provided that all houses already thatched 
should: be re-covered, with lead, slate or tile, within seven 

Section XXXIII. gave power to the Commissioners to 
purchase buildings for the purpose of widening the streets. 

Section XXXV. gave power to demand tolls on Sundavs 
at any tucnpike gate within two miles of the town, 3d. tor 
horse and carriage, id. for every horse, ass, or any other 
beast, and if such toll was refused, power was given t<i sell 
the horses ok other beasts, and out of the proceeds of such 
sale to pay the toU and expenses therewith connected. 

Section XLV. gave power to levy a rate every year, not 
exceeding one shilling in the poimd to cover the outlay of 
the Commissioners on the foregoing improvements. 

The Quarter Sessions of the County of Somerset was 
to be the Court of Appeal. 

It was not to be supposed that such a drastic measure 
of reform as this would be put into operation withomt much 
friction, and, indeed, so strong was the opposition*, that the 
Act was never put into force. 

Many years passed before any radical improvements 


Local Government in Wincanton. 

were made. Even then, in consequence of vexations and 
obstructive action on the parts of bodies, who unfortunately 
had the power to hinder and obstruct, and who used their 
power without rhyme or reason, we are now only approximating 
to these wholesome measures, which the clear-headed men of 
a hundred years ago saw were for the benefit of the. people. 
To this day, nearly all suggestions for improvement have to 
pass through Parish, District, and County Councils, all 
desperately slow to move, and, in addition, frequently have to 
receive the sanction, at great expense and long delay, of the 
Local Government Board. 

To return, however, from this digression. A century ago, 
the churchwardens and overseers had many, and more arduous, 
duties to perform than now. The poverty of those days taxed 
their energies, at times, to the utmost. Under the direction of 
the vestry, (which occasionally woke to life and carried ever3r- 
thing before it, and then hibernated for many months imtil 
stirred up again,) they had control of the workhouse and the 
poorhouses ; strangers, then called rogues, now tramps, to 
relieve ; illegitimate children to provide for ; apprentices to 
put out and look after ; and a host of other duties, such as 
special distress in times of flood and tempest, and epidemics of 
smallpox and other foul diseases. It may be woith while to 
give an indication of such work. 

I select the year 1742, when there were 64 people in the 
workhouse belonging to this one parish. This was not a year 
of exceptional poverty. The age of the inmates was nothing 
like so high an average as in the Union Workhouse to-day. 
It is worthy of note that such a large proportion of them bore 
Puritan christian names. 

" A list of the persons now in ye workhouse, taken April 
ye 22d, 1742, viz. — 






Hen. Read 


Patience Ivie 


Eliz. Pauley 


Sarah Ivie 


Mary Mogg 


Abraham Ivie 


; Repentance Parsons 

John Ivie (infant) 


^ ane Newman 


George Stone 


' ohn Newman 


Ann Willis 


\ >tephen Newman 


William Willis 


Ann Brine 


Sarah Willis 


Robert Brine 


Elizabeth Oatley 


John Edgell 


Sarah Day 


Ann Watts 


Christopher Wimbolt 


Ann Watts (infant) 


. Tabitha White 


Local Government in Wincanton. 

9 Daniel White 9 

7 Elizabeth White 38 

7 Elizabeth Parsons 37 

6 Ann Parsons 7 
56 Jane Hine 4 
40 Mary Parker 2 

3 Benjamin Clement 10 

9 John Goddard 7 

8 Mary Goddard 4 

7 EdWard Goddard xa 
33 Kath. Lumber 10 

9 Mary Lumber 9 

7 Judith Lumber 45 
6 Amie Lumber 57 

2 Richard Lumber 7 
10 Love Vinmg 5 

9 William Vimag 2 

5 Sam Vining 7 

3 Elisha Vining 10 

8 Elizabeth Hurman 

The authorities of that time did not consider it necessary 
to give each one a bed to himself. The library was not 

extensive, as is shown by the ** Inventory of the goods in 
Wincanton Workhouse, taJcen April ye 22d, 1742, viz. — 

John Manning 
Sam Bratcher 
Judith Bratcher 
John Bratcher 
ICate Bratcher 
Sam Bratcher 
Abraham Munday 

John Munday 
iannah Munday 
John Humphreys 
Samuel Humphreys 
Timothy Wimbolt 
William Stone 
Sarah Stone 
Mary White 
Ben White 
William White 
Mary Thick 
Edith Thick." 

28 Bedsteads 
26 Ruggs 

25 Bkmkets 

28 Beds and Bolsters 
33 Sheets 
13 Pillows 
I Clock and Case 

26 Turns 
II Forms 

3 Table Boards 
23 Chairs 
23 Boxes and Tnmks 

I Bacon Rack 

6 Candlesticks 

3 Furnaces 

I Fr)ringpan 

4 Knives 

I Pair ballance 

I Pump 

4 Hogsheads 

I Half Hogshead 









Quarter Barrell 





Bolster Cloaths 


Hair Lines 

Garden Rake 

Pair Scales 


Marking Iron 

Iron Potts 

Brass Pott 

Pairs Tongs 

Fire Pan 


Bible 4to 

Whole duty of man 



Local Government in Wincanton. 

3 Bellows 

I Ladder 

4 Wood Horses 

I Ducking Stool with 2 wheels 

I Wash Tubb 

2 Spades 

I Hook 

I Peck Axe 

I Hatchett 

I Spinning Reel 

I Stone Cistern 

2 Piggs." 

It is sometimes, very erroneously, supposed that there is 
as much poverty now as there was a century ago. It is worth 
while, I think, to dissipate that idea. Formerly, the rate 
collector was on his travels all his time. Take a sample or 
two. A rate, so called, appears to have meant a certain simi. 
In 1739 and 1740, 120 rates produced ;^3X^-i-3 each time ; in 
1747, there were 160 rates which produced ;^36o odd. By 
1775, they had gone up to ^654 odd ; In 1795, ;f 1206-5-2 ; 
in 1800, /1908.15-0 ; in 1812, ;f 2915-16-0. In 1886, the Poor 
rate and the Highway rate together (of which the latter, was 
;^304) were only ;^ioio for the half year, the paying ponder 
having greatly increased* 

By the year 1834, ^^^ whole poorhouse system was 
doomed ; it fell to pieces by its own weight. It wis not only 
costly but totally inefficient* At the openings of the year 1836, 
it was clearly seen that the new Poor law system was coming 
into operation at once. The parish met in the vestry, and 
agreed to offer the old. workhouse premises to the Wincanton 
Union for the modest sum of ;^2oo. They set forth the advan* 
tages of the site, the nearness to the parish church, facilities 
for medical officers, &c.,, &c., Mr. James Bracher being the 
only dissentient. They considered the property worth £500, 
but they meant for once to be liberal. When, the new 
guardians met on^ 20th Jan., they declined the handsome oifier 
with the advantages of salubrious site and all. On: 31st 
March, Uriah Messiier, Esq., and Mr. Wm. Sly, were declared 
elected as representatives of the parish on the new Board; 
Very soon the new Board sold the premises, and put the money 
into the general fund. We now come to the advent of. our 
new LocsJ Government. 

The Board OF Guardians. 
On ^ I St December, 1835, there was a meeting at the Town 
Hall, Wmcanton, when Robert Neale, Esq., attended as an 
assistant Poor Law Commissioner. All the Ex-officio and 
elected Guardians were present. (The following week the first 
meeting was held.) Right Hon. Henry Hobhouse having 
declined chairmanship. Rev. H. J. Wyndham was elected 
chairman ; Uriah Messiter, Esq., vice-chairman. The Boatd 


Local Govbrnmemt in Wincanton. 

decided to hold a meeting every Wednesdaj' at the Town Hall, 
Wincanton. Robert Clarke was elected clerk at ;^ioo per 
annum, and ;^io for an office until one was built for him. He 
was to follow no other occupation. This restriction, however, 
was afterwards removed. Mr. Uriah Messiter was elected 
treasurer, he giving a bond for ;fi5oo. A committee was 
appointed to inspect the workhouses in the district. Those of 
Wincanton and Henstridge were utilised until the new house 
was ready. The site of the present buildings was inspected 
on March 23rd, 1836. (It had formerly been a yam barton.) 
It was purchased of the representatives of the late Mr. John 
Brown for ;^300, and the purchase, money paid on the 15th 
June. . The property was conveyed. by Mr. Henry Messiter, 
his charges. beihg ;^i4-i9-4» The work was begun on 24th 
August. The foundation stone laid on 29th March, 1837. '^he 
first meeting held in the new building, about a year later. 

The contract was taken by Mr. Davis,, of Langport, at 
;^355o. The bricks were made and burnt on the spot, the 
number being 200,000. 

The first master and matron were Mr. & Mrs. Sealy. The 
first relieving officers — Wincanton, Henry Legg ; Bruton, 
Uriah Phillips ; Castle Cary, J. S..Bord ; Milbome Port, 
Joseph Cox. 

There have not been many chairmen of the Board. It 
was intended to elect a new chairman every year, but this 
was found unworkable. I regret that I am uncertaia as to 
the exact order in which the chairmen served, but, in 1837, 
John Rogers, Esq., followed the Rev. H. J. Wyndham, serving 
one yeac coiiy. During that year a baby girl was found in a 
basket at. South Gate, where she had been left by her mother 
or some one else. She was taken to the workhouse, and when 
baptised the chairman became her sponsor* She was named 
Annie Southgate. She was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Sealy, the 
master and matron, grew up to womanhood, and became 
schoolmistress to the girls in the house. Mr. Foord, a school- 
master there, married her, and on leaving, they became master 
and matron of the Union Workhouse at Andover. To the 
best of my knowledge, the Rev. Henry Ludwell Dampier, of 
Collins Hayes,, followed Mr. Rogers in the chair^ and continued 
till 1847. 

In 1848, Rev. Henry Bennett, of Sparkford Hall, became 
chairman, and remained till 1855, when Henry Hobhouse, 
Esq., father of the present M.P., took office, andjs^ved two 
years. In 1857, Charles Barton, Esq., was elected, and con- 
tinued till 1897, when he resigned and was succeeded by 


Local Government in Wincanton. 

T. H. M. Bailward, Esq., who still remains. 

Amongst the Vice-chairmen was T. E. Rogers, Esq., who 
became an ex-olBcio guardian in 1861, the same year as he was 
made J. P. of the county, and who was from first to last one of 
the most regular attendants. It would occupy too much 
space, if I had a complete list, to give the names of all who 
have served as elected guardians. I will, however, give their 
names, and the places they represented, when the Board was 
first formed, from Dec. 31st, 1835, to March 29th, 1837, when 
a new election took place. 


Abbas & Temple Combe 

Ansford ... 

Barrow North 

Barrow South 


Bratton ... 
Brewham North 
Brewham South 


,, ••• ... ••• 
Buckhorn Weston 

Cadbury North 

Cadbury South 

Castle Cary 

»> ... •• 

Charlton Horethome ... 
Charlton Musgrove ... 

Gheriton North 

Compton Pauncefote ... 
Corton Denham 





Kin^on Magna 


Maperton ... 

Milbome Port 

„ „ ... 



Queen Camel 

Shepton Montague 

John Davis 

Samuel Worthy 

George Augustus Woodforde 

Rev. George Gooden 

Wm. G. Phillips 

Thomas Gifford 

George Cross 

Isaac Martin 

Rev. John Dampier 

William Dampier 

Thos. Oatley Bennett 

William Raymond 

Thomas Ginord 

Rev. Henry Bennett 

— Coombes 
Harry Russ 
George Parsons 
James Richards 
Rev. Thomas Gatehouse 
Rev. Thomas Marriott 
Caleb Bartlett 
John Knight 
Rev. F. Glossop 
Rev. C. Plucknett 
T. S. Bailward 
George Howe 
Joseph Hussey 
William Swanton 
Richard Highmore 
John Sherrin 
Err Ings 
Edward Burge 
Thomas Caines 

John Herridge 
ob Cox 


Local Govbrnmbnt in Wincanton. 

Stoke Trister Thomas Dowding 

Stowell Rev. Thomas Marriott 

Sutton Montis Robert Leach, junr. 

Weston Bampfylde ... Henry Weare BJiandford 

Wheathill William Hallett 

Wincanton Uriah Messiter 

„ ... ... William Sly 

Yarlington William Young. 

Important functions are performed by this body, who, 
although they meet once a week all the year round, find enough 
to engage their attention. There are 37 parishes, and 43 
members, who do assessment work on the first Wednesday in 
the month, highway business on the second, school attendance 
on the third, and sanitary work on the fourth. 

Only those who knew the building as it was when first 
erected can realize what a series of improvements has since 
been made. It has been more than doubled in size, though 
happily not doubled its inmates. It has become more home- 
like ; the classification is better ; the food and clothing are 
better ; the children do not wear the pauper's badge as 
formerly ; they go to the Board School with other children, 
and their moral tone is altogether raised. In a word, instead 
of resembling a jail, it partakes more of the character of a 
hospital. There has been more libertjr allowed during the 
past years, and with it far less insubordmation. I write with 
a knowledge of the facts when I say that every one having a 
complaint to make has the opportunity of doing so, either to 
the house committee or lady visitors, or to come before the 
Board. When first built, the floors everywhere were of brick ; 
the rooms were heated with a brick flue raised above the floor ; 
the walls were bare ; the windows high and barred, all of them 
looking upon one of the yards. The dietary was coarse and 
only of a few kinds, large quantities finding its way into the 
hogs' trough ; but now the Board insist on having it of the 
best, and the L.G.B. regulate the dietary tables. The general 
content in the house is more prevalent. It is, however, less a 
harbour for loafers and women of light character. Each half 
yearly statement more and more shows that it is the aged of 
both sexes who go there to rest to the end of their days. It 
is not the place where, nor are the inmates for the most part 
the people with whom, the well brought up would elect to 
associate, as the following letter will sufficiently show. Of 
the writer of the letter more will be said under another heading. 
He was a native of Wincanton, and died in the Revolution in 
Paris in the year 1848. The letter was written to one of his 


Local Governmettt in WiNCAirroN. 

old friends in the town, a Mr. Wm. Winter^, one of Mr. Gibbs' 
predecessors in the baking biisiness in South. Street.. 

"November 22nd, 1847. 
My dear Sir, — I write to you from this monastery to 
employ time, and give a current to thought, which else would 
become like an Irish bog, stagnant and reeking as a rotten 
fen. The monkish race in this locale are neither learned nor 

* Each one's brains at most 
Would scarcely keep him from a post.* 
They are the veriest ignorant clowns that ever walked cloisters, 
the most miserable apologies for humanity that ever ate 

* Peas porridge in the pot nine days old.' 
I have seen much of man and his fantastic tricks, but this 
specimen of pauper friars is the ne plus ultra of stolidity and 
low cunning. The most abominably rough hewed sand stone 
statues Jove has sent from his probationary quarry. But my 
dear friend, the worst part of the morale is, they are malig- 
nant, envious and slanderous as incarnate fiends, so that one 
may say — * Lord, what are such men that thou art mindful of 
them, or the sons of such slaves that thou visitest them ? ' 

Now, poverty, it is said, sharpens our faculties, and is 
often the hot-bed of genius, curiosity and learning ; but these 
underlings have no curiosity, no ideality. They are in the. 
scale of creation behind 

* The poor Indian, whose untutored mind 
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.' 
They could never fancy * Moses on the mount,* nor * The 
Transfiguration,' which the immortal Raphael did at Rome, 
whilst painting the glorious picture in the Vatican of the 
eternal city of pageantr]^ and popedom. 

Thanks to Mrs. Winter for soap and huckaback, that I 
may keep the film firom my eyes which blinds these barbarians. 
The plum pudding also deserves praise. May God keep her 
and you. Sir from afiliction, for relieving the woes of 

J. Walter." 

For many years, almost the same body of men have had 
the control of the highways as well as poor law administration. 
At present the officers are — 

Chairman— T. H. M. Bailward. 
Vice-chairmen — J. H. Thring and James Mackie. 
Surveyors — E. H. Knapman and E. J. H. Padfield. 
Clerk — F. W. Lancaster. 
On June 23rd, 1897, ^^^* Barton and Mrs. Rogers were 


Local Government in Wincanton. 

the recipients of massive silver salvers, and to Mrs. Barton 
was presented a purse of gold, and on July 21st following, 
illuminated addresses were given to the same ladies, 85 sub- 
scribers affixing their names to the addresses, these ladies 
having long been visitors to the inmates of the workhouse. 

Our Petty Sessions. 

At present we have a bench of magistrates, 17 in number, 
who hold a court at the Town Hall on the last Monday in 
each month. How long Wincanton has been the centre of a 
Petty Sessional Division, I have not been able to ascertain ; 
certainly not prior to 1769, when the Town Hall was built, 
but earlier than 1806, as the following minute from the books 
of the Market Feoffees testifies. — 

"Town Hall, 7th March, 1806.— 'That the 'large room in 
the hall (?) shall continue to be used for meeting of the Justices 
of PeacSf Deputy Lieutenants, Commissioners of Taxes, 
Vestries of the parish, Military and other public meetings as 
ai presiftt, &c: '' 

In the year 1737, there were two T.P.'s resident in the 
town, namely, Abrsdiam Gapper and William Churchey, but 
as a rule we^have been dependent on residents outside the 
town for the administration of justice, the nearest magistrates 
living at Holbrook, RoundhiU, and Shanks. 

I find the following names, as those whose owners have 
exercised judicial functions here. 

1703— John Himt and Christopher Farewell. 

1737 — Abraham Gapper and William Churchey. 

1738 — ^John Bailey. 

1739 — George Dodington. 

1 741— Samuel Hill. 

1743 — ^Thomas Coward. 

1744 — flames ChaflFcy Cowper. 

1749 — ^t. C. Cowper and John Maddox. 

1750 — ^John Maddox. 

1756— Creorge Dodington and John Maddox. 

1757 — ^Thomas Coward, junr. 

1776— George Hutchings and William Baily. 

1777 — ^John Hunt and George Hutchings. 

1778— William Baily and Gerard Martin. 

1779 — William Baily. 

1780 — Samuel Dodington and William Baily. 

1 781 — ^Tohn Hunt and Samuel Dodington. 

1782 — William Baily and James Melliar. 

1783 — George Hutchings ailid William Phelips. 


Local Governmbnt in Wincanton, 

1785 — George Hutchings and James Melliar. 

1786 — Samuel Farewell and Nathaniel Webb. 

1787 — William Phelips and George Hutchings. 

1788 — William Phelips and George Hutchings. 

1789 — Edward Phelips and William Phelips. 

1790 — George Hutchings and T. Jackson. 

1791 — George Hutchings and Samuel Farewell. 

1792 — William Phelips and Samuel Farewell. 

1793 — George Hutchings and Richard Colt Hoare. 

1794 — Samuel Farewell. 

1795 — Richard Colt Hoare. 

1796 — R. C. Hoare and Samuel Farewell. 

1797 — C. Phelips and J. B. Burland. 

1798— W. C. Medlycott and C. Phelips. 

1799 — C, Phelips. 

1800 — C. Phelips. 

1 80 1 — Wm. Phelips. 

1802— W. C. Medlycott. 

1809— W. H. Colston. 

i8io^-R. Frankland. 

181 1— „ 

1812— „ ^ 
1813 — R. C. Hoare. 

1814— C. Digby. 

1815— J. Dalton. 

1816— „ 

1 81 7 — Thomas S. Bail ward. 

1818— J. Jekyll. 

1819— „ 

1831 — William Phelips. 

1832 — ^John Gale D. Thring. 

1845— H. Bennett and J. Gale D. Thring. 

1846 — H. L. Dampier and Henry Bennett. 

1847 — Henry Bennett and H. L. Dampier. 
At the time of writing, Mr. T. E. Rogers, of Yarlington, 
has just resigned the chairmanship which he has held for many 
years, and his connection with the bench of which he has been 
a distinguished member for 42 years ; Mr. W. B. Langhorne 
resigned at the same time, having served 15 years. 

Mr. Wm. Bennett is the clerk, an office he has held for 
15 years. 


5 < 

t3 e 



wmcantoii duilmi M civil Wais. 

It is evident that in the 17th century the opinions of our 
forefathers were, as to-day, of a very mixed character. 
Roughly speaking, the landed gentry and the farmers were for 
keeping things as they were, the traders desirous of a change 
of some sort or other. There are many side lights on the times 
which indicate this. Political feeling in those days ran much 
higher than now, and apparently one party kept the other 
pretty much in check. Several writers refer to the condition 
of the parish at diflferent times, their accounts varying according 
to the information they possessed, or as their prejudices led 
them. Some of the accounts are confusing. I confess that, 
with every desire to make the various items clear, some of the 
points are too obscure for me. I give the statements, corrobor- 
ative or conflicting, as they happen to be. 

From " HoptofCs Narrative of his Campaign in the West^ 
1642-1644." Somerset Record Society, Vol. 18.— 

"At Wells they consulted of their business, and the 
Marquesse directed his order to the Colonell of the next traind- 
band (being Sir Edw£ird Rodney) to drawe in his regiment. 
But that which conduced most to give the Marquesse some 
beginning of force was, that Lieut. Colonell Henry Lunsford 
was come to him with officers for a foote regiment, and 
commission from the King to raise for his brother Sir Thomas 
Lunsford a regiment of foote in that county, in hope that hee 
should there recover the most part of his old regiment, which 
he had raysed for his Majesty's service in the north, two years 
before, towards the arming of whom a party was sent to 
Wincanton, with caryages that fetched from thence a magazeene 
of armes that had been deposited there a yeare or two before. 
There were likewise three troopes of horse then levyed in the 
country whereof two (by commission from his Majestie to bee 
of the Lord Grandesons regiment) commanded by Mr. John 
Digby and Sir Francis Hawley, the other was a troope intirely 
raysed by Sir Ralph Hopton at his own private charge, for his 
Majesties service. These leavyes did furnishe the Lord 
Marquesse within foure or five dayes with ... hundred armed 
foote and about ... horse. The county Magazeene then in the 
towne furnished him with ammunition. Besides these appeared 
of Sir Edward Rodney's regiment neare about ... hundred men 



well armed but not so well resolved for they stood not by him 
when there was occasion." 

The following is in the '' Mereunus Aulums *' in the British 
Museum. — 

"On I St April, 1645, as Lord Goring, the King's Com- 
mander in Somerset was marching from Yeovil to Bruton, he 
was told that some Paxliamcntary horse and foot were at 
Wincanton about five miles from him. Being but little out of 
his road he sent there Major General John Digby with 1200 
horse and dragoons, but they found only one officer and twelve 
men who were taken prisoners. Digby then hearing that 
others were quartered in some three or four villages near about 
two miles oflf, fell in upon them and took altogether about 100 
prisoners, 300 horse, and 300 arms, chiefly of Colonel Popham's 
and Colonel Morley's regiments, and with them two colours or 
cornets of horse, one being Master Wansey's, which had on it 
for a motto — * For lawful laws and liberties.' The royalist 
party returned to Bruton that night." 

Wincanton and the Prince of Orange in 1688. 

There are many accounts by a variety of authors respecting 
the troops of King James and the Prince of Orange, of which 
I select two as being the most circumstantial, and from which 
most of the others are derived. In Macaulay's History of 
England, Vol. II., the following account is given, (from the 
Diary of the March of the Prince of Orange. — 

" The first of these encounters took place at Wincanton. 
Mackay's regiment, composed of British Soldiers, lay near a 
body of the King's Irish troops, commanded by their country- 
man the gallant Sarsfield. Mackay sent out a small i^rty, 
under a lieutenant named Campbell, to procure horses for the 
baggage. Campbell found what he wanted at Wincanton, 
and was just leaving the town on his return, when a strong 
detachment of Sarsfield's troops approached. The Irish were 
four to one, but Campbell resolved to fight it out to the last. 
With a handful of his men, he took his stand in the road, the 
rest of his soldiers lining the hedges which overhung the high- 
way on the right and on the left. The enemy came up. 'Stand/ 
cried Campbell, * For whom are you ? ' * I am for King 
James,' answered the leader of the other party. * And I for 
the Prince of Orange,' cried Campbell. * We will Prince you,' 
answered the Irishman with a curse. *Fire!' exclaimed 
Campbell. A sharp fire was instantly poured in from the 
hedges ; the King's troops received three well-aimed volleys 
before.they could make any return. At length they succeeded 



in carrying one of the hedges, and would have overpowered 
the httle band who was opposed to them, had not the country 
people, who mortally hated the Irish, given a false alarm that 
more of the Prince's troops were coming up. Sarsfield recalled 
his men and fell back, and Campbell proceeded on his march 
unmolested with the baggage horses. This affair, creditable 
undoubtedly to the valour and discipline of the Prince's army, 
was magnified by report into a victory, won against great 
odds, by British Protestants over Popish barbarians, who had 
Yeen brought from Connaught to oppress our island." 

A more circumstantial account of the foregoing occurr- 
ence is given in Mr. E. Green's William of Orange through 
Somerset. On page 6a et seq. of that interesting little book of 
Somerset history, it is said — 

<' It being reported that some of the Prince's party had 
advanced into Somerset as far as Bruton, thither went Col. 
Sarsfield from Salisbury with some royal troopers. The 
Colonel, however, missed his intention, as on his arrival at 
Bruton the others had marched to Wincanton, whither he 
followed on November 20th. Lieutenant Campbell at 
Wincanton, in command of about twenty-five men, hearing 
of Sarsfield's approach, resolved to fight him. First he 
posted the majority of his men in a small enclosure at the 

* East end of the town on the left side,' a good hedge being 
between them and the road by which the enemy must come. 
Just opposite this spot, in a little garden also covered by a 
thick hedge, he placed six men ; and then, with four or five 
others, he took the road, determined to be cautious and not 
to fire too hastily, as there was the possibility that Sarsfield's 
men would desert and join him. Presently, Sarsfield and his 
men were seen approaching. Waiting until they were quite 
near, Campbell then challenged with — 'Stand ! stand ! for 
whom are ye ? ' To this the other replied, * I am for King 
James ; who art thou for ? ' Campbell replied, ' For the 
Prince of Orange.' ' God damn me ! ' returned the other, 

* I'll Prince thee.' Hearing this, Campbell ordered his men 
to fire, and, himself going up to this ' popish officer,' shot 
him in at the mouth and through the brains, so he dropped 
down dead. Firing now commenced on both sides, but the 
royalists, a hundred and fifty strong — ^the Gazette says a 
hundred and twenty, seventy horse and fifty dragoons — got 
into the field, some through a dead hedge, some at the lower 
corner, others by a little gate, said to have been opened by a 
countryman who was looking on ; and so they quickly 
surrounded their opponents, who could do nothing more than 



fire as fast as possible. Defending themselves thus stubbornly, 
they were joined by their companions from the other side of 
the road, but at last were overpowered by numbers. The 
wounded, some of them shot in five or six places, being 
oflfered quarter for their bravery, * would not accept it from 
the hands of papists,' but chose rather to die. Every man 
would have been killed, had not a miller riding into the town 
proclaimed to the townspeople, who, in alarm and terror had 
thronged into the streets, that a strong party of Orange 
horsemen was just entering on the other side. The miller 
further called out to the king's men, * Away ! away for your 
lives ! Save yourselves ! The enemies are at hand ! * On 
hearing this, and seeing the great confusion in the streets, 
the troopers judged it was true and galloped away. 

The result of all this was that on the Orange side. 
Lieutenant Campbell and eight or nine others were killed, 
and six prisoners were taken, of whom, however, three got 
away. Of the king's side, four were reported killed and two 
wounded. If the two wounded died, the general account 
may be considered correct, as in the end fifteen dead were 
tumbled into one grave. This narrative was taken from Mr. 
Bulgin, the minister ; and from Cornet Webb, of the king's 
force, as he lay wounded, shot through the back and reins." 

I confess to realizing great difficulty in locating the site 
where the battle took place. The last account says distinctly 
the East end of the town, and in that direction Campbell 
might well have expected the enemy to have come from 
Salisbury. There, too, was a garden, and the high hedges 
where shelter could have been taken. In that case, what is 
now Coylton Terrace would be the spot ; but Sarsfield's 
party coming from Bruton would have had to come through 
the town to meet the Prince's soldiers, unless they had come 
by way of Hunter's Lodge from Bruton. Legend gives us 
no help, inasmuch as Lawrence Hill, Whitehall, The Croft 
in Common Lane, are mentioned in this connection, and the 
field in front of Cutt's Close is said to have been the burial 
place of the dead soldiers. On the whole, I incline to the 
belief that it was at the East end of the town, and that the 
King's forces retreated to Salisbury. The parish register 
gives us no assistance. Mr. Bulgin was the curate from 
1664- 1 726, but if there was any register kept at that time, 
there is none existing at present from March, 1 687-1693. 

There is another account given of this skirmish, which, 
although it might have been mainly taken from the " Diary," 
differs as to the scene of action, for which reason I give it. 



If this account be correct, Lawrence Hill is the spot where 
the fight took place. The article is called "A Jacobite 
Rapparee," written by Frederick Dixon in Temple Bar Mag- 
azine^ May, 1891. It says that — 

" Early in November, William was keeping court at 
Exeter. The head-quarters of the King were at Salisbury. 
It was evident that the rival outposts may at any moment 
come in contact. About the middle of the month, Mackay, 
who commanded the Prince's advanced guard, bemg in want 
of transport, sent out a detachment under a lieutenant named 
Campbell to endeavour to procure it. Sarsfield and his Irish 
were known to be in the vicinity. Campbell felt his way 
cautiously. He passed through the sleepy village (!) of 
Sherborne, with its noble Gothic minster and battered 
Norman keep, and coming to Wincanton found what he 
wanted, and turned to go. Scarcely, however, had he cleared 
the houses when Sarsfield was upon him. The Irish 
numbered one hundred and twenty sabres. Campbell's force 
was only fifty strong, but he was a Scotch Presbyterian, who 
would as soon thought of uncovering to the 'host' as of 
surrendering to a papist. He blocked the road with a 
handful of his men, massed the remainder in an adjoining 
enclosure, and prepared to sell his life as dearly as possible. 
Sarsfield sent his men straight at the enemy. * Stand I ' 
shouted Campbell, as they approached, * For whom are you ? ' 
* For King James,' was the reply. * I am for the Prince of 
Orange,' returned Campbell. * We'll Prince you,' roared the 
other, with a laugh and a curse, and gave the word to charge. 
Three times before the enemy could close, CampbelPs men 
poured in their fire ; one of the Royal officers was killed, a 
second had his jaw smashed, many of the troopers' saddles 
were emptied, but the odds were too heavy. The dragoons 
burst through the hedge-row. In another moment its defenders 
would have been cut down where they stood, had not a 
passing miller, who shared to the full the popular antipathy 
to James and his Irish soldiers, hurried up with the lying 
information that the Prince's troops were entering Wincanton 
in force. Sarsfield had no intention of being caught between 
two fires, so he called off his men and galloped away, leaving 
Campbell to continue his retreat unopposed." 

The singular part of the business is that both leaders 
went on their way after they were killed. 

Burnet, in the history of his own time, refers to this 
event but briefly. He, however, considered it as being of 
considerable importance, and of advantage to the cause of 



the Prince of Orange. He says — 

" Hitherto the expedition had been prosperous, beyond 
all that could be expected. There had been but two small 
engagements during this unseasonable campaign. One was 
at Winkington in Dorsetshire, where an advanced party of 
the Prince's met one of the King's that was thrice their 
number, 3*et they drove them before them into a much greater 
body, where they were overpowered with numbers. Some 
were killed on both sides, but there were more prisoners 
taken of the Prince's men. Yet though the loss was of his 
side, the courage that his men showed in so great an inequality 
as to number made us reckon that we gained more than we 
lost on that occasion. Another action happened at Reading, 
where the King had a considerable body, who, as some of 
the Prince's men advanced, fell into a great disorder aad 
ran away." 

In this connection it must be mentioned, that in the 
Sutherland collection of pictures in the Bodleian at Oxford, 
illustrating '< Clarendon's History of the Rebellion" and 
"Burnet's History," is a picture by Gendall^ in colours, of 
Wincanton church and part of the town. Gendall was sent 
to Wincanton, late in the i8th or early in the 19th century, 
on purpose to take this picture. I saw the picture there in 
May, 1898. 

I give for what it is worth, a letter, written to and 
published in The Gentleman's Magazine for December, 1813. 
It was written by Thomas Richards, who died at RoundhUl 
Farm in 181 5. Accompanying the letter is a wood-cut, rep- 
resenting the brass plate referred to. 

" Mr. Urban, — As any circumstance connected with the 
Orange family is, at this time, peculiarly interesting, I send 
you a brass plate with a figure coarsely engraved, which is 
evidently designed for William, Prince of Orange, afterwards 
King William III, The inscription, «Syr Konink Licke 
Hoog Heyt,' etc., from the information of a Dutch officer, 
ought to be ^ Syn Koninglyke Hoog Heyt,' etc., and signifies 
* His Royal Highness,' &c. The plate, with another 
with several whole figures (now lost), was dug up in 
rooting an ancient tree near the churchyard at Charlton 
Musgrove, near Wincanton, in the county of Somerset, and 
was probably a badge worn by one of the adherents of King 
William, during his progress from Torbay through the western 
counties. From the place and manner in which it was found, 
one might indeed be led to conclude that it belonged to a 
fugitive from the battle of Sedgmoor, after the Duke of 



Monmouth's defeat ; but I do not recollect that the avowed 
partisans of William appeared publicly in Monmouth's 
enterprise. — T.R." 

It has been said that some of the partisans of King 
William were here in 1688, but that William himself came 
here is a matter of doubt, and that the ** Orange room " at 
" The Dogs " derived its name from the colour of its decor- 
ation. Let us examine the evidence. In Mr. E. Green's 
book before referred to, page 60, we read — 

" At Crookhorn, he remained Sunday, November 25th. 
Here, besides many gentlemen of the West, a regiment of 
Royal iiifantry and the officers of a dragoon regiment joined 
him. The first line now marched to Wincanton, the second 
following to Sherborne, whither went also the Prince, and 
lodged at the castle, beii}g thus advanced directly upon the 
King's troops." 

(Page 64.)— "From Sherborne the Pri^oe, with now 
Prince George of Denmark, and many others who had left 
the King, marched to Wincanton. When leaving here, a 
royal trumpeter arrived, asking a pass for messengers to 
treat. So the prince, Sir Wm. Portman being with him, 
advanced by Mere to Salisbury." 

Another account is given m The Harleian Miscellany^ vol. 
I-» page 453-— 

Extract of a letter sent by one of the followers of the 
Prince of Orange, the writer signing himself N.N., to a 
person of distinction in London. Dated Wincanton, ist 
December, 1688. — 

«* I shall return again to the prince. When his Highness 
left Exeter, Wednesday, Nov. 21st, he marched with his own 
guards, attended by a great many of the gentry, both of 
Somerset and Dorset (Devon ?), to St. Mary Ottery, where'he 
dined, after which he marched to Crookhorn, where he tarried 
only one night. From thence to Sherborne, where his Highness 
was splendidly entertained by Lord D. From thence to 
Wincanton, where he lodged at the houfie of Mr. Churchill 
(Churchey), and is credibly reported designs for Oxford." 

The foregoing account appears to have been copied from 
a pamphlet, now rare, dated from Wincanton, ist December, 
1688, entitled— 

**The expedition-of his Highness the -Prince of Orange 
for England. Being an account of the most remarkable 
passages thereof ; from the da)r of his setting sail from 
Holland to the first day of this instant December, 1688." 
** In a letter to a person of quality." 



" On Wednesday, November 24th, he marched with his 
own guards, attended by a great many of the gentry, both of 
Somersetshire and Devon, to St. Mary Ottery, where he 
dined ; after which he marched to Axminster, where he 
continued four days. From thence to Sherborne, where his 
Highness was splendidly entertained by Lord D. (Digby). 
From thence he went to Wincanton, where he lodged at the 
house of one Mr. Churchill, a merchant, and it is credibly- 
reported designs for Oxford. 

Your most obedient servant, — N.N. 
Wincanton, ist December, 1688." 

These accounts vary somewhat, as the story of any event 
told by two or more persons would, but it is clear enough that 
the Prince, with George of Denmark and Sir Wm* 
Portman, marched here, and that he lodged at the house of 
Mr. Churchey, a merchant. 

In 1.688, Richard Churchey, a merchant, lived at ** The 
Dogs," a house which he had recently built. For more than 
a century before his birth, his ancestors were established 
here as merchants. He was Lord of the manor, and the 
owner of about 500 acres of land, with many houses on 
them. He is described as ** an infant " in 1638. He died 
here, and was buried on August 7th, 1697. 

Standing by itself, the legend that the Prince slept in 
the Orange Room, which derived its name from this circum- 
stance, would not count for much ; but taken with the other 
facts, this is as well established as we can expect any event 
to be which happened over two centuries ago. 


_^ .i 









WiNCANTON IN 1 327. 


We have a little insight into the condition of the parish 
in the first year of the reign of King Edward III. To that 
valuable book " K%rhy*s Quesi^** one of the early volumes of 
"The Somerset Record Society," I am indebted for the 
following return for Wincanton of the Exchequer Lay 
Subsidies for 1327. The list is very interesting as showing 
not only who were the owners of property in Wincanton at 
that time, but because some of the names are shown to be 
still in existence in the parish, probably having been continued 
from that time to this. When it is remembered that in the 
year 1327, wheat was only 3/1 1 per quarter, it gives us an 
idea of the purchasing power of the ;f 4-9-4 contributed by 
this parish to the cost 01 the King's wars. The Lord of the 
manor, Richard Lovel, who probably lived at Castle Gary, 
and Thomas de Insula, the then patron of the living of 
Bratton St. Maur, were two of the chief contributors, 58 
being the total number. It is a list of all persons whose 
goods were estimated of the value of ten shillings or more. 

De Richardo Lovel, Dim Mark, (6/8). 

Walter le Niweman. iijs. 

Waltero Weryng, iijs. 

Johanne Peny, xviijd. 

Willelmo Peny, xijd. 

Nicholo Cone, xijd. 

Rogero Proceman, ijs. 

Johanne at Barwe (Barrow Lane ?), xijd. 

Johanne Pour, vjd. 

willelmo Herward (Horwood ?), xijd. 

Andreae Mey, ijs. 

Hugone Lovecok, xijd. 

Thoma le Vous, iijs. 

Waltero Roenhull (Roundhill ?), xijd. 

Johann Coby, ijs. 

Koberto Presthaghe, iijs. 

Roberto Jokhe, ijs. 

Radulpho Axcil, xijd. 

Editha Weybole, xijd. 

Johanne Everard, ijs. 


WiNCANfQN m 13-27. 

ohanne Bosse, xijd. 
] bbanne le Yonge, ;\nd. 
! itichardo Bosse, xijd. 
'. ^ogero le Rol, ixd. 
^ obanaeJU^e^each^^,4ujd. 
] ohanne Codwarthe (Cudworth ?), ijs. 
! ^ogero le Hen, vid. 
^ohanne BaH3rry, ixd. 
■ Sdmundo Clerico, iijs. 

ohanne Swyft, iJB. 
\ !)e Johanne Seger, ixd. 

ohanne le'Frye, ixd. 
johanne le Grether, xid. 
Christiana le Grethier, xid. 
Johanne Page, vid. 
Willelmo Chepman, iijs. 
Godefrido Golofre (Gulliver ?), ijs. 
Johanne Priour (John Brian ?,'Prior of Stavordale), 

Waltero Bromfield (Bruham Field ?), xiid. 
Nicholo Thursteyn, xviijd. 
Edward Cosyn (Cousin ?), ijs. 

i ohanne Baroun (Barnes ?), xijd. 
Roberto Paynel, ixd. 
Willelmo Fabro, xijd. 
Golfrido Cbrnmanger, yjd. 
ohanne Prestjvjd. 
] ladulpho Austayse, ixd. 
; tegero Gilbert, xijd. 
^ ohanne Churson, yjd. 
] ohanne Clerico, junior, vjd. 
] ohanne Tarbot (Talbot ?), iijs, 
Godwyna Strenger, xijd. 
Waltero -Barnwell (Banwell in 1558 ?), vjd. 
Isabella Chiel, xijd. 
Thoma de Insula, Dim. Mark. 
Tohanne Champflower (Wyke ?), ijs. 
Willemo de Godmauston (Godminster ?), ijs. 
Johaim© Clerico, senior, xijd. 
Summa 22me villatte predicta, iiij li. i^s. iiijd. {£i-9'4') 
Collecta XXme domino. 'Edwardo tercio post conquest- 
um. Regi Anglie concesse facto per Johannum de Clyvedon 
et Johannum de Earle Anno Domini Regis primo." 


Thb Borough in 1678. 

(Clje ^oroud({ in ^678. 


Having seen the number of householders in 1327 and 
1558, it will be interesting in several ways to see the number 
in 1678, which happily can be done, from the £act that there is 
still in existence an original document, now in the possession 
of Mr. John Feltham, of Bayford, showing who were the 
burgesses at the later period, and what their interest was. It 
is interesting also to observe the change of names from time 
to time. It is noteworthy, too, that of the names of owners 
in 1678, there are very few in the voting lists of to-day. It is 
objected to now that nearly all the public-houses are what are 
called '' Tied houses." It will be seen, however, that over two 
centuries ago, practically the same state of things prevailed. 
The only omission I have made in the list is that of reducing 
the number of figures to represent the amount payable in each 
case. I have not thought it necessary, for instance, to put for 
John Creed 0-3-3 to represent threepence three farthings. I 
nave modernised all the amounts, but I have retained every 
name as then spelled, the quaintness of the old words being 
more to the taste of the antiquary than the modern rendering. 
The words within brackets are added to throw light on the 
several items. 


The Burrough rents of the Burrough afores^d to bee 
collected from the Inhabitants of Wincalton aforesaid, whose 

names are underwritten as followeth. s. d. p. 

Hugh White 4 

Anselme Bishop 2 

Thomas Vyneing 2 

Richard Mitchell i 

Henry Vyneing 3 

Matthew Stone, for a Barkin (Barton) ... 10 

Richard Mitchell 4 

Widdowe Pittman (Elizabeth) 43 

Matthew Stone... ... ... ... ... 8 

Widdowe Vining (Grace) 4 

Robert Keniston i o 

Richard Garrett i o 


Thb Borough in 1678. 

s. D. 

Mr. Swanton's heirs for the " George " ... 10 

2 'his is where Mr. Lock, butcher, now lives, 
r. William Swanton died in 1671.) 

Roger Swetman i o 

John Vyneing 

(This was ** John of Batch," who died in 1684. 

The Vining family was so numerous that 162 of 

them were buried in the churchyard from 1636 

to 1721.) 

Robert Ivy for the " White Hart " 11 

Thomas Gentle... ••• ... ... ... 6 

iohn Addams ... ... ... ... ..• 2 

Robert Ivy for his house 10 

„ „ for Ditties i o 

^ ohn Clement (Mr. Cash's premises) ... 20 

ohn Keene ... ... ... ... ... i o 

jiatthew Stone 9 

ohn Rogers ••• ... ... .•• ••• 6 

! 3en. Lewys for the Lyon (Mr. Hinks' house) 6 

Nicholas Rogers ... ..• 20 

Widow „ (Joan, who died in 1699) — ' o 

Charles Matthewe i o 

Robert King ..• ... ... ..• ... 6 

iohn Biggin 4 

lenry Stone 4 

Richard Parsons, Senr., for Styles, 4 

Andrew Ivy, Jimr., for Ditties i o 

Thomas Slade ... 8 

Richard Walter 4 

William Harding 4 

Thomas Ivy, Senr 6 

Grace Dickery (Dicker) for Tomson's ... 6 

Robert King i o 

Owen Tomson i o 

Richard Paul, Junr 3 

Richard Parsons 3 

Thomas Besant... ... ... ... ... 3 

John Clement ••• ... ... ... ... 9 

John King for TanswelPs 10 

Hugh White for part of Thomas Slade's ... 4 

John King, Senr. 4 

John King, Junr. ... 8 

William Creed for part of Burbidge's ... 4 

Richard Sherrand for part of same 2 

Robert Keniston for church lands 6 


The Borough in 1678. 


William Clarke (Coneygore) 
Mr. Churchey for Hooke 
Robert Lewys 
Robert PoUett (Pawlett ?) 
Widow Vyning for — land 
Richard Benjefield for Lewys H 
Judit. Dittey. R. Benjafield ... 
John Creed (The Registrar) 
Thomas Coles 
Edward Addams 

Robert Pollett (Pawlett) 
Philip Bennett (see black tablet in church). 
Henry Dyer 

Hugh Watts (of Shanks), Peter Stone 
Mr. Richard Churchey 
Widdowe Browne .,• 
Thomas Sweatman ... 
Phill. Bennett for cottage and hayes 
Mr. Churchey for Tout Hill 
Mr. William Tallet ... 
Mr. Gapper (Thomas) for Town End Close 
Peter Stone for " The White Hart " 

„ „ **The Crowne'* ... 

„ „ '' The Queene'* ... 

„ „ '' The Fountain'' 

Widdow Dickery for " The White Horse " . 
Mr. Tucker for ** The Swan "... 
Widow Dickery for Hurman's ... 
Mary Jewell (Mr. Stagg's house in Mill Street) 

{asper Stacey for " The Angel "... 
ilr. Tucker for Dowding*s 
Widdow Stone 
Thomas Hurman ... 

ierome Conway 
lenry Hurman 
Roger Pounsett 
Henry Vyneing, Junr. 
William Coles 
Widdow Pike 
John Coombes 

The whole of the Manor rents ... ;^5 8 3 
The whole of the Borrough rents 3 10 i 
The whole of all the rents ... 8 18 4 
I do authorise John King to demand, collect and 

S. D. 









;; 6 





I 4 


2 I 

I 8 


. 3 8 











et) 2 














Thb Borough in 1678. 

to the order of mee, Richard Churchey, of all and every the 
tenants and inhabitants of the manno and burrough of Wincalton 
aforesaid, the several rents or sumes of money by whom and 
every of them for to be paid as aforesaid. And in case they, or 
any of them, shall refuse to pay their rents or sumes of money by 
them owing as aforesaid, that then he distrain the goods and 
chattels of such p*son and persons that shall refuse, or fdi to 
pay the same, and the same goods and chattels he shall take 
into his hands and custody,. until the said rents and sumes of 
money bee fully satisfied and paid, and imtil the said goods 
and chattels be taken out of his hands and custody by due 
course of law. And for the doing thereof, this shall be unto 
him my sufficient warrant in that behalf. Given under my 
hand aiid seal the day. of Anno. D.m 1678." 


Ratb m.1703 FOR Repairs to, the Highways 

The following list of Ratepayers in the parish, 200 years 
ago, is interesting from several points of view, namely, as 
showing who lived hete two years before the great fire, and 
the ^mall sums which were considered worthy of being collected. 
I copy, from an original document in the possession of the 
churchwardens. As in the previous list, I reduce greatly the 
number of figures representing the different sums. 

" A rate made the fourth day of June, 1703, for raising of 
money for ye repairing and amending the highway? within the 
p'ish of Wmcantbn by us whose hands are under written. 

s. D. F. 

Mr. Churchey (James), Trustees or occupiers 411 2 

Mr. James Lawrence Churchey... ... 4 2 

Wm, Lewis, Esq., part ofBraynes ... i 3;. 

Occupiers of Piaraonage ... ... 2 

Christopher Farewell, Esq. ... ... 121 

Mrs. Grace Gapper, widd. ... ... 71 

Mr. Abraham Gapper ... ... 32 

Mr. Philip Bennett .. ... ... 181 

Mrs. Hannah Swanton, widd. ... ... 4 3 

Mr. Richard Nicholas ... •«. 4 

The occupiers of Greenhayes ... ... 5 

Mr. Field, or occupier of Broadmead ... i 

Mrs. Elizabeth Coope, for Lady Croft ... i 

Mr. Robert Randall... ... ... 6 i 

Mr. Benjamin Randall ... ... i 2' 

Mr. Thomas Gapper for part of Churchey 's i 10 

Mr. Edward TSatum... ... ... 13 

Mr. Walter Henderson ... ... 3 

Mr. John Galley ... ... ... 11 

Mr. James Day ... ... ... 2 

Susannah Mansfield... ... ... i 

Mr. William Lewis... ... ... 4 3 

Mrs. Mary Vihihg, widd. ... ... 11 

Mr. John Clement ... ... ... 4 

Mr. Nicholas Clement ... ... 43 

Mrs. Maggs, widd. ... ... ... 32 


Rate in 1703 for Repairs to the HighwaVs. 

s. D. P, 

Mr. William Cockey ... ... i 

Mr. William Ivey for Watses ... ... 51 

Elizabeth Hockey ... ... ... 11 

Morgan Keene ... ... ... i 

Mr. John Glisson ... ... .. 2 

Richard Ivye ... ... ... 2 

Mr. Robert Kinge ... ... ... 2 i 

Mr. Wm. Day for Rosses ... ... 6 2 

Dinah Webb, widd.... ... ... 2 

Mr. Thomas Knight ... ... 5 

Occupiers of Robert Knight's ... ... 31 

Occupiers of Mr. Hussey's ... ... 3 i 

Mr. John Rogers ... ... ... i i 

Mr. Wm. Moore ... ... ... i 2 

John Vining for part of Talbot's ... i 

John Stone ... ... ... i 

Owen Hill ... ... ... 4 3 

Peter Dove ... ... ... i 

Richard Shepherd, Senr. ... ... 62 

John Vining, Sherman or occupiers ... 22 

Richard Edwards ... ... ... 2 

Mr. Martin or occupiers ... ... i i 

Henry Parker ... ... ... 2 

Stephen Jewell ... ... ... 3 

Abraham Peace (Pearce) ... ... 4 

John Coombes ... ... ... 2 3 

Ir. Wm. Hurman or occupiers ... 11 

John Vyning, mercer ... ... 

John Horler 

Jeremiah Pitman ... 

John Vining's wid. ... ... ... i 1 

James Hillard .. ... ... 2 

Thomas Hermon ... ... ... i 

Thomas Sweatman ... ... ... 3 

Robert White ... .. ... 3 

John Hockey ... ... ... 2 

Widow Paule ... ... ... 2 

Mr. Elias Bulgin (Rev.) ... ... 3 

Richard Sheane, or occupier .., ... 2 

Thomas White, of Bayford ... ... i 

Joseph Bidlecombe (Biddlecombe) ... 2 

Scebel (Sybil) Little, widow ... ... i 

ieane Parker ... ... ... i 

Ir. Andruas' widow ... ... 3 

John Mitchell ... ... ... 3 


Rate in 1703 for Repairs to the Highways. 

S. D, 


fohn Philip and Henry Bracey ... 



ohn Perrin, or occupiers 



ohn Wilton 



Occupiers of Sam. Hockey's 



William Picke (Pike) 



Jasper Stacey 

William Clarke or occupiers 





Thomas Slade 



Richard Mitchell ... 



Henry Vining 



Matthew Stone or occupiers 



William Creed „ 



Frank Baulster 

• a. 


Will. Stone, of London, or occupiers 



Timothy Wimbolt ... 

Efdward Dowding, for Lears (H)atches 





Richard Parsons 



William Parsons, or occupiers ... 



James Thick 
Widd. Andruas 



• a* 


Gerarde Newman or occupier ... 



William Hockey 



John Adams 
Widd. Gentle 



• a* 


Edward Thomas or occupiers ... 



Widd. Wilton 



. ohn Daye 



ohn Beacon 



] ^ichd. & Thomas White or occupiers 



Thomas White for Kelways 



Francis Parsons 



Richard Vining for part of Ivyes 

• .. 


Thomas Shepard 

.. . 


Christopher GiUingham or occupiers 



William Credock Kiraddock ?) or occupiers... 



The occupiers of Tyte's Brains... 

• .• 


James Abbott, or occupiers 
Daniel Durnford 



William Waye 


Joseph Bidlecombe (Biddlecombe) 
Mr. Thomas Jeanes, or occupiers 



Richard Shepard, Jimr. 


Roger Curtis, or occupiers 


John Picke (Pike) for part of Vining's 
Mr. Daniel Durnford and Robert Parsons 







Rate in 1703 for Repairs to thb Highways. 

Jane Flower 

The rate on stock in trade and money at interest. 

Mr. Tames Lawrence Churchey for 
Mr. Robert King for 
Elizabeth Ivye, widow 
Mrs. Ann Harvey, widow ... 
John Hockey, senr. ..." 

Ann Harvey, spinster 

John Combes ... 
■'ranees Vyning or occupiers 
Peter Dove 
Daniel Durnford 
Mr. Bernard Kinge 
Mr. William Moore 
Owen Hill 
Elizabeth Hockey 
Mr. William Lewis 
Thomas Little or occupier ... 
Mrs. Jeane Flower 
Mr. John Glisson 
Mr. Walter Henderson 
Widow Webb ... 
Jerom Hill 
John Vining, weaver 
William Cockey 
John Galley 

Richard Shepard ^ 

William Lewis > (Overseers ?) 

John Clement 3 

WULl:Ski; } (Churchwardens) 
Jasper Stacey (Parish Constable ?) 
I St October, 1703. Confirmed by us 

John Hunt ) ., p , v . 

Christopher Farewell j ^•^* ^' 




• •• 





interest. — s. 



... ;flOO 






































Poor Rate in 1736. 

POOti KATE IH 1736, 

From Overseer's Book 1736— 1 758-9. 

*' A rate made the tenth day of December in the year of 

our Lord 1736 by George Deane and John Pike, church- 
wardens, John Clewett and Michael Vinmg, overseers, and 

other parishioners, for raising of money for the relief of the 
Poor of the parish of Wincanton." 

There were 140 rates made in this year for the relief of 
the poor, amounting in the whole to ;^364-i-5|. 

s. D. p. 

" Andress Thos. for part of Cappers ... i 

Adams John ... ... ... i 

„ for Jerrard's house... ... i 

Lrains ... ... i 

Andress Thos. Dover or occupiers ... i 

For his church land ... i 

Andrews John ... ... ... i 

Adams Abraham for his house in Mill Street 2 

Bennett Philip, Esq. ... ..• 9 

Mrs. ... ... ... XI X 

Brickenden John, for part of Vining's ... i 

Burnett Thomas ... ... ... t 

S^€»s Josiah for his house ... ... x 

Bulgin Benjamin andjohn ... ... a 

Biddlecomhe for the Town end Field ... x 

Burnett Thos. for Wm. Pike's ... ... i 

Beacon Thomas ... ..• ••• x 

Brittain Edith for Owen Hill's ... ... 3 

Bulgin Hannah ... ... ... i 

Bracey and Gilbert ... ... ... i 

Benchwalls, or occupier ... ••• 2 

Barrett Mr., for part of Mr. Churchey's ... 4 

for Tatum's Harvey's wood ... i 

for Biddlecombe's Aldermead... 2 

Brine Mrs., for her house Church Land ... x 

forWyett's .. ... i 

Brown Nico. for Pike's and Read's ... x 

Bernard James for the B^^ Lj^ofi ... 3 


Poor Rate in 1736. 

s. D. F. 
Churchey Mary for Brain's farm ... 14 

» •• 5 

„ for Church Land ... i 

„ for James Hillard's ... 2 

„ for the house at Sbatterwell 2 

„ for part of John Vining's ... 2 
Churchey Dorothy ... ... ... 192 

„ . for Cozenses ... .•• 12 

Combe Robert ... ... •». 2 

„ for Churchey's ... ... 2 

,, for Dicker's ••• .»^ 2 

„ for Stone's ... ... i 

Occupiers of Thos. Andress, part of Stone's 2 

Combe John ... ... ... 2 

CoUey Robert for Pittman's ... ... i 

„ for Biddlecombe's Lawrence Brook i 

Curtis Ann for her house ... .*. i 

Craddock Wm. for Abbotts Brains ... 13 

Clement Elizabeth ... ... ... i 

Cockey William ... ... ... i 

Cross Samuel ... ... ... x x 

for a house in High Street ... i 

Cooth for part of the Parsonage ... 3 

Clement John ... ... ••• i 

Clewett Saml. ... ... ... x 

Clewett John for part of Mr. Ivie's ... x 

„ for house at Town's End ... 2 

Day Thomas ... ... ... 2 

Day John ... ... ... i 

Tripp Mr. for ye Wid Days ... ... x 2 

(This was the Mr. Tripp, probably, whose arms, 
with scaling ladder, were formerly on a black 
and white tablet on the left of the chancel arch 
in the church, before the restoration). 

Day Nicolas ... ... ... x 

Dove Peter ... ... ... x 

Day Wm. for part of Terrard's ... ... i 

„ for the Golden Lyon ... ... x 2 

„ for a house in Church Street ... I 

Deane George for the White Horse ... 2 

Dolen Thomas for his house ... ... i 

Dawe Mrs. for Mr. Moore's ... ... 3 

Edwards Richard ... ... ... 2 

Edwards Robert ... ... ... 2 

Farewell Nath. Esq. ... ... 5 


Poor Ratb in 1736. 

S. D. F. 

(Farewell Nath., Esq.) ... .. i i 

„ for part of Mr. Ivie's ... i 

Forward Wm. for his house. ... ... 2 

Flinger John for Dunford's ... ... 2 

for Thos. Johnson's ... 3 

Gapper Abraham, Esq. ••• ... i 

„ for Balsoms ... 2 

99 for part of Lewis's ••• 3 2 

„ for Munday's Close ... 2 

„ for Prancefield ... 2 » 

„ for Plucknett's 

Gapper Abraham, Gent. ... ... 10 

„ or occupier for Swift's 6 

„ for Hockey's ... i 

Gapper Widow for Bennetts ... ... i 

„ for part of Stone's 

.„ . for Abbotts ... ••• 2 

„ for Littles 

Gapper Robert, a house and orchard adjoin- ) 
ing to the Common, late Pomroys / 
„ for part of Swantons ... 5 

„ for Spring Close ... a 

„ for Clement's Aldermead ... 23 

„ for Wm. Pike's *.. i 

„ for part of Thonms Churchey's 2 

Gifford Mr. for Rosses ... .*. 5 

Glisson John ... ... ... i 

Galley John £or his house, Church Land ... 2 

,, ... ... ».< ^i 

„ for Thomas Pitman's ... 2 

Hussey Thos. for part of Rendalls ... 2 

Hussey Edmund for Batchpool ... ... 2 

„ for Grove Close and Ivie's Mead 4 3 
Henderson Mary ... .«« ... i 

„ for Jerrards ... ••• 2 

Horler John ... ... ... i i 

Hockey John, Junr. ... ... ... 2 

„ for part of Moore's 

Hurd Philip, for part of Bolsters 
Hands Thomas 

Hurman John for Widow Andress's 
Hockey John, Senr, ... ... ••. 

Hill Widow, ibr her house and Bulgins 

Ireson Nath. for Windmills ... ... 4 

„ for part of Vinings .... 


Poor Ratb in 1736. 

S. D. 


(Ireson Nath.) for James Day's.., 


Ivie Wm. 


„ for Thomas Pitmans ... 


„ for Wimbolts 


„ for Pitman's 


„ forVimieyhayes 


„ Richard, Senr., or occupier 


„ Richard, for Gillinghams 


ewell Widow 

vie Andrew for Staceys 



ohnston Thomas ... 
' Cing Jane, widow, for New Cfose 



for Farewells ... 



for house in Church Street 



for her house ... 



for Vinings Reckhayes 

. 2 

for Sellars 


King John for Marchess 



Kelloways, paid by Edwd. Matthews 


Kinaston George 


Knight Mr. John 



for Batchpool ... 



King Robt. for a house in Mill Street 


„ Wm. for Bolster's 


Lewis Charles 



for part of Clements 


for his house in South St., Church Lands 


Lewis Thomas 



Moore Wm. for West Lease ... 



for Harding's House 

Mervin Mr. for Grinhill ... ... 5 

Cozenes, Widow Vining ... ... 3 

Martin or occupiers for Long Cross ... i 

Mitchell Richard, Senr. ... ... 3 

„ ,., Junr. ... ••• I 

„ John ... ... ... r 

Manning Henry for part of Ways ... i 

Mogg Jos. for a house jojrning to the Common i 

Daubeny Mr. for Mr. NichoUs ... ..< 4 

Newman George ... ... ... 2 

Nation Robt. for Rockhill ... ... i 

for Rendalls Vox ... 2 

Paul William ... ... ... i 

Plucknett Mr. for his house ... ... 3 


Poor Rate in 1736. 

s. D. F. 

(Plucknett Mr.) for the " BM Inn;' South Street i 

„ for Ivie's ... ... i 

„ for the Parsonage ... ..> i 3 

„ for Widow Jerrards, Bushes ... i 

Pecock John for part of Mr. Ivies ... i 

Perfect Caleb ... ... ... 3 2 

Perfaam John for Rogers* ... ... i 

u oenr. ••• ... .«• 2 x 

Pike John for Abergany ... ••• i 

Parsons Wm. ... .. ... 2 

19 John ... ... ..• 2 

„ „ for house by the Shambles ... i 

„ Richard, paid by Mr. Seymour ... • i 

Pearce Abraham or Cowper ... ... 4 i 

Robert for The Lamb ... ... 2 

9, for Lewis's ... ... 3 

Pomroy Wm. for his house ... ... 2 

Parsons Richard ... ... ... i 

»» Francis for Rosses ... ... i 

Paul George ... ... ... i 

Rendall Benjamin or occupiers... ... 43 

,» ,» for part of Vining's ... 3 

Read Richard ... ... ••• i 

Richard Wm. or Mary Andress... ... i 

Read Philip, or James Curtis ... ... i 

Reeves Sarah ... ... ... i 

Sheppard Edmimd for Saunder's ... 2 

9, Richard for Wm. Sheppard's ... z i 

,9 Richard ... ... ... z 

,9 Edmimd for Flowers... ... i 

99 for Hills ... ... 2 

9, Richard for Widow Craddocks ... i 

„ „ for Cozens' or Peter Davis i i 

„ ,9 for Richard and Wm. ... i 

Swetman Thomas ... ... ... 3 

Shean Rebecca ... ..• . . i 

Stephens Wm., Senr. ... ... 2 

Suter Benjamin ... ... ... xo 

99 for Aldermeads ... 22 

for Hurden Comer ... 12 

for Moor Close ... 1 

for Mr. James Churcheys... 4 

Slade Elizabeth ... ... ... 23 

Smith Stephen for part of Clements ... 2 

Spencer9 or occupier for a hbuse in Church St. i 


Poor Ratb in 1736. 

S. D. F. 

Sheppard Thomas ... ... ... 2 

Tyte Ambrose for Tytes Brains... ... 5 

Thick Thomas or occupiers ... ... i 

Tatum Mrs. or Mrs. Harris ... ... 3 

Tliomas Sarah ... ... ... i 

The occupiers of Markets and Fairs ... 3 
Thick John, Junr., for Belch (Bell ?) Close 

and Little Moor ... ... i 

Vining John, weaver, for a house near the church i 

„ ... ••• ... I 

„ Richard, shoemaker, for his house ... i 

„ for a house near the church i 

„* for Ckurks •.• ... 2 

„ John, Batch... ... ... 1 

„ Mary ... ... ... 3 2 

„ Joane for Hurmans ... ... i 

„ „ for her house and Nobles ... 2 

„ Edward for his house ... ... i 

„ Michael for Joseph Coombes ... 3 

„ „ for part of Vinings ... 2 

„ „ for Stone's ... ... i 

„ Isaac for part of Mr. Churcheys ... 2 

„ Joseph for part of Jerrards ... 2 
Webb John for Bear Inn, Long Close and Masters* 2 

for Windmill Close ... i 

Wilton Mary ... ... ... 2 

Willis Mrs. for a field by Long Cross ... 2 

White John and Thomas ... ... i 

„ Samuel, or Mr. Day ... ... 2 

Wickham Mr. for part of the Parsonage ... 32 

Wilton Widow ... ... ... i 

Way Mr. Wm. ... ... ... 2 

„ for Lewis's ... ... 2 

„ for Bushes ... ... 2 

Watts Nico., Esq., or Mr. GifFord ... 2 5 

Webb Mrs., widow ... ... ... 2 

„ for part of the Parsonage ... 2 

Watson Dr. for Broadmead ... ... i 

White Robert for Moggs ... ... i 

Way Wm. Carpenter for his house .. i 

The occupiers of Burtons Mill ... ... 3 

Wadman Richd. for his house ... ... i 

Walter, Widow, for a house in High Street i 

Webb Simon for Rodber ... ... i 


Poor Ratb in 1736. 

Marsh, viz. — 
Gifford John, Esq. ... ... ... 4 

„ for part of Mr. Sansoms... 

Lisle Mr. for Lodmoor and White Pit 
Wickham Mr. James ... ... i 

White John 

Bingham Mr. or occupier 

Dirdoe Mr. and Collet John ... ... i 

Oxen Leaze, occupiers of 

Sansom Mr. or occupiers of Hanitam's Leaze 

Gapper Mr. Robert ... 

Kinight Mr. John 

Bennett Philip, Esq. 

Newman Mr. 


Cooth Mr. or occupier 

Davidge Henry 

Young John 

Coles John 

Parsons Wm. 

Biggen Mr. Wm. ... 

„ for Leazehold 

StavordaUy Roundhiltj Bitwood and Barrow Lam rate. — 

Webb Mrs. (Roundhill) ... ... i 

Bernard David for part of Webbs 

Paget Mr. for part of the same ... ... i 

Leir Mr. for part of the same ... 

Leir Thomas for part of Mr. Churcheys ... i 

Hansford Henry for part of Mr. NichoUs ... 

„ for EUiwards' ... 

Harvey Mr. or occupiers 
Leir Mr. for part of the same ... 
King Mrs. Jane, widow 
Clement Mr. John or occupier ... 
Penny Mr. or occupier 
Leir Mr. Thomas ... 
Naish Robert for Thicks 
Galley Mr. or occupier 
Cobb Mr. or occupier 
Coles Mr. or occupier ... ... i 

Shoot Mr. 

Penny Wm. 

Willis Mr. James or occupier ... 

Chinnock Wm. 


S. D. F. 























































Poor Rate in 1736. 

Napper James, Bitwood Ball ••• 

Penny Wm., House and Orchard, Bitwood 

Rate on stock in trade and money at interest. — 

I vie Mr. Wm. 

Sheppard Edmimd 

Coombe Mr. Robert ... 

Vining Mrs. Joane 

Dove Mr. Peter 

Galley Mr. ... 

Cockey Mr. Wm. 

Plucknett Mr. 

Glisson Mr. John ... :.. 

Perry Mr. Thomas 

King Mr. John 

Brown Nico. 

Vining Michael 

Brickenden Mr. 

Vining Mr. James 

Little Mrs., widow 

Brine Mrs. 

Henderson Mrs. Mary 

S. D. 





est. — 






































Poor Rate in 1745. 


Having given the details of a Poor Rate levied in 1736, 
it may appear to some a "work of supererogation" to produce 
another only nine years later. Its uses, however, are to show 
the changes which occurred in the nine years, and that the 
earlier one is the basis of the later. The sums mentioned are 
so small that they do not appear to be worth the trouble of 
collection. The explanation, however, is, that the smaller 
owners of property had to contribute in the same proportion 
as the larger, the farthing being the lowest sum as a basis of 
rating. What seems to have been the practice, was to estimate 
the sum required for a given time, six or twelve months, and 
then to decide on the number of collections during that period. 
Some years there w;ere four collections only, as in the year 
1778, when ;^687-4-4 was realized. In the year 1812, there 
were 29 collections. The rates varied in number greatly, as 
for example, in the year 1741 there were 240. In 1750-1-2-3-4, 
there were loo each year. The lowest sum collected in a year 
was ;^257-i7-8J, when in the years 1753-4-5 the amoimt was 
exactly the same. The highest amount was raised in 1812, 
when it reached the enormous sum of ;^29i5-i6-ioi ; of course, 
the war with France accounts for these heavy levies. My 
authority is the overseers' books of that time. 

" A rate made the 6th day of May in the year of our 
Lord 1745, by Simon Webb and Abraham Mathew, church- 
wardens, Joseph Vining and John Parsons, overseers, for 
collecting of money for tiie relief of the poor of the Parish of 
Wincanton. s. d. f. 

Andress Thomas for part of Gappers 
for part of Vinings 
. . for his Church Land 
Adams John or occupier 
Andress John, glazier, for house late Sheans 
„ „ for Dovers 

„ Taylor 

Bracher Wm. for Jerrards Lains ... 2 

for Jerrards house ... 2 

Bennett Philip, Esq. ... ... 9 

,, ... ... Ill 


Poor Ratb in 1745. 

S. D. F. 

Brickenden John for part of Vinings ... i 

Biggs Josiahs widow for her house ••• i 

Burnett Thonms ... ... ... i 

Bulgin Benjamin and John. Excused ... 2 

Burnett Thomas for Wm. Pikes ... ... i 

Beacon Thomas ... ... ... 1 

Brittain Edith for Owen Hill ... ... 3 

Bulgin Hannah or occupier ••• ... i 

Bracey and Gilbert ... ... ... 1 

Barrett Mrs. for part of Mr. Churcheys ... 4 

„ for Tatums Harveys Wood ... i 

Brown Nicholas ... ... ... i 

„ for Hockeys ... ... 2 

Bernard James for the Black Lytm... ... 3 

Churchey Dorothy ... ... ...191 

for Cozense's ... ... z 2 

Combe Robert ••• ... ••• 2 

for Churcheys ... ... 2 

for Stones ... ... x 

for John Combes ... ... 2 

for Dickers ... ... 2 

Cheek Mr. Robt. part of Stone's .1. ... 2 

CoUey Robert for Pitmans ... ... 1 

for BiddlecombeSy Lawrence Brook x 

Curtis Ann for her house ... ... i 

Craddock Wm. for Abbotts Brains ... 13 

Clement Elizabeth, paid by Mr. Cockey ... i 

Cockey William ... ... ... i 

Cross John, Staymaker, for Bolsters late Hards i 

Cross John, turner, for his house ... ... 11 

„ for a house in High Street ... z 

Clement John ... ... ... i 

Clewett John, or occupier ... ... 1 

„ for Peacocks ... ... i 

Chamberlain Thomas for Hillards ... 2 

Chubb Mr. ... ... ... 11 

Daubney Mr.for Mr. Nicholls ... ... 4 

Day Thomas, or occupier ... ... 2 

„ Widow, for Mr. Tripp ... ... i 2 

„ Widow of Nicholas, for her house ... i 

Doves, Benjamin Sweetman for part of ... i 

Dove John ... ... ... 3 

Deane George for the White Horu ... 2 

Dolen Edward, for his house, or occupier ... t 

Dawe Mrs. for Mrs. Moores ... ... 3 


Pooh Rate in 1745. 

S. D. F. 

Edwards Richard .«. ... ... 2 

„ Robert for his house ... ..• 2 

Farewell Nathaniel, Esq., Suddon *.. 5 

for Little Norden ... 11 

for part of Ivie's ... i 

Forward Wm. for his house ^.. .. 3 

„ for Dolens ... ... 2 

Flingef John for Dunfords ... ... 2 

for Thos. Johnsons ... ... 11 

Gapper Abraham, Esq. ... ... i 

for Balsom's ... ... 2 

for part of Lewis's ... 3 2 

for Mundays Close ... 2 

for Prancefield ... ... 22 

for Plucknetts ... ... i 

for Abbotts ... ... 2 

for Vinings Prancefield ..* 22 

for Bennetts ... ... i x 

Gapper Abraham, gent, or occupier ... 10 i 

„ for Swifts ... ... 6 

for Hockeys ... ... i 

for part of Pearce's ... 2 

Gapper Charles, widow of for Stones ... i 

for Littles ... ... 2 

Gapper Robert for Biddlecomb^ ... ... i 

„ House and Orchard late Pomroys i 

,» House at Towns End ... 2 

„ for Sam. White's house ... 2 

„ for part of Swantons ... 51 

„ for Spring Close ... ... 4 2 

,1 for Clements Aldermead ... 23 

- „ for Wm. Pikes ... ... i 

^ for part of Mr. Churcheys ... 2 

„ for Grove ... ... 1 

„ for Lane Close late Ed. Shepards i 

Glisson John^ or occupier ... ... i 

Galley John, for his Church Lands .•• 2 

for part of Pitmans or Whites ... 2 

of Gappers ... ... i 

Mathew Ann, widow, for Vinings... ... i 

Goldsborough Mr. for Rowthorn and Libits ) 

Crate, late Mary Vining's ... J ^ 

Gapper Thomas or occupier of Church lands... i 

for Wyetts ... ... i 

Mathew Edward for his house, Church land ... i 


Poor Ratb in 1745. 

S. D. F. 

Husey Thomas, gent, for part of Randalls ... 2 

), Edmund, gent, Batchpool... ... 2 

„ „ for grove close and Ivies Mead 4 3 

„ „ for Clarks .*• ... 2 

Henderson Mary ... ... ... i 

The Workhouse ... ... .•. 2 

Horlerjohn ... ... ... i i 

for Pitmans ... ... 2 

for part of Ivies ... ... i 

Hockey, widow, for part of Mr. Moores •«. i 

Hurman John, for Widow Andross ... i 

Hill Owen... ... ... ... 3 

for Saunders ... ... 2 

Harebottle for Roses (Ross's) ... ... 5 

„ for the Golden Lion ... ... i 2 

for a house in Church Street ... i 

for Jerrards close ... ... i 

Ireson Nathaniel for Windmills ... ... 4 

for part of Vining's ••• i 

for John Days ... ..« z 

for James Days ... ... i 

Jewell, widow, Excuse ... ... 2 

vie Charles ... ... ... 3 

„ for Vinney Hays ... ... i 

I vie Richard, Senr., or occupier ... ... i 

Ivie Bartholomew for Gillinghams ••• i 

I vie Andrew for Staceys ... ... 1 

Jewell William for Thomas Pitmans ... 2 

Johnson Widow ... ... ... 3 

King Robert, Esq., for a house in Church Street i 

„ „ High Street 1 

„ Mill Street... 2 

King Mary for Rickhays ... ... 2 

King John for Marches ... ... j i 

„ for John Vinings ... ... i i 

Kellaways, paid per Edward Mathews ... i 

Kinaston George ... ... ... i 

Knight Mr. John ... ... ... 3 i 

for Batchpool ... ... 22 

King William for Farewells ... ... 63 

for Bolsters ... ... i 

Kittle Mr. for Pauls ... ... ••• z 

Kittle John, or occupier for Parsons' ... i 

Lewis Charles ... ... ... i i 

for part of Clements ... ... i 


Poor Rate in 1745. 

s. D. F. 

(Lewis Charles) House in South St., Church Lands 1 

Lewis Thomas ... ... ... 2 

Light Judith ... ... ... 2 

Moore William for West Leaze ... ... 4 

for Hardings house ... ^ 

Mervin Mr. for Greenhills ... ... 5 

Cozens' Widow Vining ... ... 3 

Mitchell Richard ... ... ... i 

John ... ••• ... z 

Mathews Edward for Clewetts ... ... i 

Mogg Richard for part of Churcheys .. « 

„ for house adjoining Common ... i 

Manning Mary for part of Ways ... ... 2 

„ Edward for Wiltons ... ... 2 

Nation Robert for Rockhill ... ... i 

for Randalls Vox ... ... 2 

Plucknett Mr. for his house or occupier ... 3 

for a house in South St. ... i 

for Ivies, or occupier ... i 

for the Parsonage ... ... 2 

Pitman John for his house ... ... 2 

Pitman rhilip for his house ... ... 2 

for Long Cross ... ... i 

Perfect Caleb ... ... ... 3 i 

Perham John for Rogers ... ».. i 

Perham John, Senr. ... ... ... 2 i 

Pike John for Abergaveny ... ... i 

Parsons John, Senr. ... ... ... 2 

for a house by the Shambles i 

Pearce Abraham for the Mill ... ... 41 

Pearce Robert for The Lamb ... ... 2 

„ for Lewis' ... ... 3 

Parsons Francis or Robt. for Ross'es ... i 

Pomroy Wm. for his house ... ... 2 

Rendall Ben. or occupier ... ... 43 

for part of Vining's ... ... 3 

Parsons John, Junr. ... ... ... 2 

Read Richard 

Richards Wm. or Mary Andress ... 
Read Philip or James Curtis 
Reeves Sarah 

Edwards Batt. (Bartholomew) 
Chandler Gartery 

Seymour Francis, Esq., for Brains Farm ... i 4 

» ••• 5 


Poor Rate in 1745. 

S. D. F. 

(Seymour Francis, Esq.) For his church lands i 

for Tytes Brains ... 5 

for Slades Close ... a 

Shepherd Edmund for Mitchdls Bean Close ..« 3 

for Flowers ... ... i 

for Hill's ... ... II 

Shepard Thomas ... ... ... 11 

„ for Craddocks ••• ... i 

„ for Cozens ... ... i i 

ii ... ... 2 

Swetman Thomas or occupier ... ... 3 

Stephens Mr. ... ... ... 2 

„ for Rd. Parsons strap ... i 

Suter Benjamin, Gent^... ... ,.. 10 

for Aldermeads... ... 2 2 

Hurden Comer,... ... i 2 

Moor Close ... ... i 

Pauls ... ... I 

James Churcheys ... 4 

Slade Elizabeth or occupier ... ... 23 

Smith Stephen, for part of Clements' ... 2 

Sansom Mr. for part of the parsonage ... 3 

Thick Thomas, or occupiers ... ... i 

Tatum Mrs. ... ... ... 3- 

Occupiers of Fairs and Markets ... ... 3 

Thick John, Junr., for Bell Close and Little Moor i 

for Wimbolts ... ... i 

for part of Perficts ... i 

Vining Richard, Shoemaker, for his house ... i 

for a house near the church i 
Vining Dorothy and Eliza for Suddon and ) 

Windmill and the house ... / ^ 

Vining Joan for Hurmans ... ... i 

for her house and Nobles ... 2 

Vining Edward for his house ... .^. i 

Vining Michael for Joseph Coombs ... 3 

for part of Vinings ... 2 

for Stone's ... ... i 

Vining Isaac for part of Churcheys ... 2 

Vining Joseph for part of Jerratts .. ... 2 

Varding Thomas for his house ... ... i 

Webb John for the Beay (Inn) and Long close i 2 

for Doves close ... ... 2 

for Winemill (Windmill) Close ... i 

for Bench walls ... ... 2 


Poor Rate in 1745. 

S. D. 


Willis Mrs. for a field p Long Close 



White Thomas 


Wickham for part of the Parsonage 

•. • 



Wilton Wm. or occupier 



Way Mr. Wm, 



for part of Lewises 



for Bushes 



for Jerratts Bushes 



Watts Nicholas, Esq., or Mr. Gifford 




Webb Esq., part of the parsonage 



Watson Doctor, for Broadmead ... 



White Robert for Moggs 

• •V 


Wadman Wm. for part of Mannings 

• •• 


Way Wm., Carpenter, for his house 



Occupiers of Burtons Mill 



Walter Moses for a house m High Street 



Webb Simon for Rodber 

• •• 


„ for New Close 

• •• 





„ for Sellars 



„ Part of Ivies 

• •. 





Wadman Richard for his house ... 



Marsh District.— 

GifFord John, Esq. 


4 5 


„ for part of Mr. San^ms ... 

• •• 



Lisle Mr. for Ludmoor and White Pit 




Wickham Mr. James ... 


I 3 


White John 



Bingham Mr. or occupier 



Dirdoe Mr. and John Collett 

• •. 

1 3 


Oxen Leaze occupiers... 




Sansom Mr. for Hannams Leaze ... 

• •• 



Gapper Mr. Robert ... 


Knight Mr. John 
Bennett Philip, Esq. ... 



• *. 



Newman Mr. 



Hembry Mr. John 
Lisle Mr. or occupier ... 

• •• 



Davidge Henry 

Gifford John, Esq., for Mullings ... 

Coles ^lr. John 

Parsons Wm. 

• .. 




• •• 





Biggin Mr. Wm. or occupier 




„ for Leazehold ... 




Poor Rate in 1745. 

Stavordale, Roundhill, Bitwood and Barrow Lane Rate. — 

s. D. p. 

Webb Mr. or occupier ... ... 142 

Barnard Mr. David for part of Webbs ... 3 

Padgett (Paget) for part of Webbs .,. 1 4 

Leir Mr. ... ... ... i 2 

„ Mr. Thomas for part of Mr. Churcheys i 3 

Hansford Henry for part of Mr. Nicholls ... i 

Penny Wra. for the other part ... ... 2 

for Edwards' ... ... 2 

Harvey Mr. or occupier ... ... 6 

Leir Mr. for part of the same ... ... 2 2 

Penny Mr. or occupier ... ... 82 

King Robert, Esq. ... ... ... 6 

Clement John or occupier ... ... 4 

Leir Mr. Thomas ... ... ... 4 

Naish Robert for Thicks ... ... 13 

Galley Mrs*, or occupier ... ... 3 

Cobb Mr. „ „ ... ... i 3 

Shoot Mrs. ... ... ... I 

Penny Wm. ... ... ... i 

Willis James or occupier ... ... i i 

Chinnock Wm. ... ... ... i 

Napper Tames, Bitwood Ball ... ... 4 

Coles ^frs. ... ... ... i 4 

Penny Wm., house, orchard and mead at Bitwood 2 " 

A farthing rate on the whole parish at that time, when 
the parish was much larger than at present, produced about 
;^2-io-o ; the money spent on the poor in 1745 amoimted to 
;^33o-i4-o. There were 140 rates collected, which produced 
2'36o-i4-4j. These figures prove Q.E.D., as I said at the 
beginning of this article, that the farthing was the basis of 
the rate. 


Witchcraft in Wincanton. 


" For when in earlier years, the dismal power 
Of superstition o'er the nations spread 
Her fearful banner, every lonely tower, 
And glade that human footsteps seldom tread, 
And pathless heath, and storm-beat mountain's head, 
Became the imagined haunt of witch or sprite, 
Or peopled by the spectres of the dead 
Who walked the melancholy round of night, 
Till to their graves dispersed by the fresh morning's 
light." Scott. 

Dr. Jessop in his thoughtful and suggestive book, " The 
triais of a countxy parson," says, — ** If, indeed, the history of 
England of the mture will be the outcome of what may be 
called the experimental and departmental method of research, 
it is obvious that the examination of the enormous body of 
evidence now at our command must be carried on by local 
enquiries. Only so can slight hints and faint clues be appre- 
hended, the local customs and dialects understood, and the very 
names of places and persons detected in their various dis- 
guises." To this may be added on the other hand that the 
local historian is handicapped unless het makes himself 
acc^uainted with the history of the country, covering the period' 
which he locally investigates and describes. 

The local historian is apt to think that he is dealing with 
people totally different from those who lived, and with events 
which occurred, elsewhere. Fuller investigation generally 
informs him that the people in his circumscribed locality were 
much the same — no better and no worse — than those who lived 
in counties remote from his own. It is even so in regard ta 
the subject of witchcraft as it prevailed in the seventeenth 
century. This is brought into vividness by a consideration of 
the details of those cases which have occurred in this neigh- 

One is disposed, at times, to be out of heart with the 
mental and moral condition of society at the present day, and 
to enquire, — " Is not the world ripening for destruction ? " 
At such times, a good wholesome tonic is a dose of 17th 
century history. li that does not effect a cure» or at any rate 


Witchcraft in Wincanton. 

palliate the malady, the patient may be given up as hopeless. 
With this preface, I will now give as clearly as I know how, 
a picture of this neighborhood as it appeared soon after the 
opening of the second half of the 17th century. 

The Rev. John Sacheverell, to whom I have referred else- 
where, appears to have been an " unco guid " man. He was, 
however, by no means a good tactician. H6 overdosed his 
parishioners with a medicine which did not agree with them. 
He was not the husband of one wife, for he had three. Because 
his son conformed to the church of England he disinherited 
him. He left here, apparently in 1662, for Shaftesbury. Elias 
Bulgin had come in his place, had married in October, 1662, 
and was living in luxury on £-^0 per annum. There was 
commotion all around. Peace had no room to expand her 
wings. Ignorance and superstition were rampant. Nature 
was in sympathy with the world of spirit, for Evelyn says, — 
" Such a time of the year was never known in this world 
before." Famine, tempest, frost, plague and earthquake all 
prevailed, and almost all of these came together. Such were 
the times of our fore-fathers at this period. 

Even marriage was simply a civil contract. John Gary, 
J. P., performed the ceremony, sometimes in the church, at 
other times in the market place. Probably Elias Bulgin him- 
self was married to Mary Ellen or Elyne by the said J.P., on 
Oct. 27th, 1662. The public-houses flourished, as the Tokens 
of Ben Lewis of the Black Lyon, dated 1667, and William 
Ivy of the Seven Stars, dated 1659, show. Belief in the 
eternal world must have been reduced to the lowest possible 
level, when it was considered necessary to endeavour to uproot 
Saduceeism by showing that the proofs of the christian religion 
were in any sense derivable from the belief in the devil 
appearing as a dog or a moth, and that bodily disease was 
produced by the use of cabalistic words by some cracked old 

it is difficult to imagine now that the people of Wincanton 
and Stoke Trister to the number of forty, could, 238 years ago, 
have been in such a state of besotted ignorance as to be 
either considered witches or engaged in hunting them, and yet 
we should remember that half a century has not passed since 
it was verily believed all round this neighborhood that if one 
would but sell himself to the devil. His Majesty would for 
value received give so many years of self-indulgence to the 
poor fools who wished to have the best of this world, regardless 
of the next. Some even go so far as to say that such insane 
belief, or rather credulity, lurks in darK comers of this 


Witchcraft in Wincanton. 

neighborhood even now. 

In the following account, it will be found that no one 
seems to have doubted the power of witches to inflict such 
punishments on their victims as they desired. Judges, magis- 
trates, clergy, gentry, farmers, and ordinary people alike were 
bitten by the madness. The witches, so called, themselves 
believed that they possessed such power. Men, women, 
children, and even poor cattle were " possessed." Lookers on 
were afraid to laugh, and no one seemed to have reason or 
religion enough to doubt the reality of the possession. Another 
set of rogues made a market of the fears of their fellows. It 
was very hard, however, on poor old women who had lost 
their good looks, if they ever had any, to be persecuted and 
hunted, as foxes are hunted now, not, however, for sport, but 
for fear or malice. 

Amongst the witches were an old woman nam6d Elizabeth 
Style of Stoke Trister, Ann Bishop, Mary Penny, and Alice 
Duke, alias Manning, of Wincanton, and several others who 
were their confederates. 

The justices of the peace were Robert Hunt, Esq., of 
Compton Pauncefote ; Mr. Bull, of Shepton Montague ; and 
Mr. Court, residence not known. 

Amongst the witnesses wiere the Rev. Wm. Parsons, A.B., 
of Stoke Trister, who became incumbent there on Sept, nth, 
1662, (succeeding the Puritan minister, Rev. John Batt,) and 
remaining to 1689, when he died ; Mr. Thomas Gapper, parish 
constable, of Bayford, who was buried at Wincanton on 
August loth, 1697 ; Francis Swanton, gent, of Wincanton, 
who was buried at Wincanton on June 17th, 1668. 

The bewitched were Elizabeth Hill, aged 13, and Agnes 
Vininef, of Stoke Trister ; Peter Newman and John Newman, 
of Wincanton, who were both dead at the time of the trial of 
the witches ; Thomas Conway ; Dorothy Vining, who died in 

iune, 1668 ; Rose, the first wife of Mr. Swanton, who died in 
larch, 1663 ; and Mr. Thomas Garrett's cows. 

Now we have the parties all before us, let us see what 
their heinous crimes were, and how the charges were sustained. 
On being brought before Robert Hunt, Esq., on the 23rd 
January, 1664, at Wincanton, Richard Hill, of Stoke Trister, 
yeoman; said that his daughter Elizabeth, 13 years of age, had 
been for about two months past taken with very strange fits, 
lasting one hour, two, or three ; that the child told her father 
and others that Elizabeth Style of the same parish appeared 
to her, and is the person who torments her. She also in her 
fits usually tells what clothes Elizabeth Style hath on at the 


Witchcraft in Wincanton. 

lime, which the informant and others have seen and found 
true. He said, further, that about a fortnight before Christmas 
iast, he told Style that his daughter spoke much of her in her 
fits, and he did believe that she was bewitched by her, where- 
upon Francis White and Walter and Robert Thick willed her 
to complain to the Justice against him for accusing her, but 
she, having used several put-ofifs, said that she would do 
worse than fetch a warrant. After this, the girl grew worse 
than before, and at the end of a fit she tells her father when 
she shall have another fit, which happens accordingly, and 
she affirms that Style tells her when the next fit will come. He 
said, further, that on Monday night after Christmas Day, about 
nine o'clock, and four or five times since about the same hour 
.of the night, his daughter hath been more tormented than 
formerly, and that though held in a chair by four or five people^ 
sometimes six, by the arms, legs and shoulders, she would rise 
out of her chair and raise her body about three or four foot 
high, and that affeer in her fits she would have holes made in 
her handwrists, face, neck, and other parts of her body, which 
the informant and others that saw them conceived to be with 
thorns, for they saw thorns in her flesh, and some they hooked 
out. That upon the child's pointing with her finger from place 
to place, the thorns and holes immediately appeared to the 
itiformant and others looking on ; and as soon as the child can 
speak after a fit, she saith that Widow Style did prick her with 
thorns in those several places, which was horrible torment, and 
she seemed to the informant and others standing by to be in 
extreme pain and torture. The child hath been so tormented 
and pricked with thorns for several nights, at which times the 
informant and many other people have seen the flesh rise up 
in little bunches, in which holes did appear. The pricking 
held about a quarter of an hour at a time during each of the 
four fits, and the informant hath seen the child take out some 
of the thorns. 

Three days after these depositions had been taken by 
Mr. Hunt, the Widow Elizabeth Style was brought on a 
warrant to Wincanton, before the same J. P., when Richard 
Hill again gave evidence, giving the following precious 

He had gone from the j ustice's house with a warrant to 
bring Style before him, when of a sudden his horse sat down 
on his breech and he could not after ride him, but as soon as 
he attempted to get up, " his horse would sit down and paw 
with his feet before." Of course, this was in consequence of 
the horse, poor brute, being also bewitched by this wicked 
old woman. 


Witchcraft jn Wincanton. 

Hill went on to say that since Style had made her 
confession before this Justice, she had made confession to 
him that she had hurt his daughter, and that Alice Duke and 
Anne Bishop did join her in bewitching the child. 

This witness was followed by the Rev. William Parsons, 
rector of Stoke Trister. After confirming what the last 
witness had testified as to what took place at his house on 
the Monday after Christmas, added, that at that time the 
girl's stomach seemed to swell, and her head where she 
seemed to be pricked very much. She sat foaming much of 
the time, and the next day after her fit she shewed the 
examinant the places where the thorns were stuck in, and he 
saw the thorns in those places. 

On the 30th January, four days after thp previous exam- 
ination, Nicholas Lambert, of Bayford, confirmed what Hill 
and Mr. Parsons had said. He said that six men could not 
hold the child down in a chair in which she sat, that red 
spots with little black ones in them suddenly appeared on the 
child's flesh. Can one wonder that the girl had spots on her 
with six men mauling her as they appear to have done ? 

We have not yet done with Elizabeth Style, for on the 
a6th January, Richard Vining of Stoke Trister, butcher, gave 
evidence against her for bewitching his wife three years 
before. He said that his wife Agnes, about three years ago, 
fell out with Elizabeth Style, and that within two or three 
days after she was taken with a grievous pricking in her 
thigh, which continued for a long time,;till after some physic 
taken from one Hallet, (Elizabeth Hallet, widow, the only 
Hallet who died in Wincanton from 1636 to 1720, died Oct. 
14th, 1674) she was at ease for three or four weeks. About 
the Christmas Day three years ago, Style went to his house 
and gave Agnes, his wife, two apples, one of them a very fair 
red apple which Style desired. her to eat, which she did, and 
in a few hours was taken ill and worse than she had ever 
been before. He went to Ditcheat to see one Mr. Compton 
(a wise man), to obtain physic for his wife. Compton told 
him that he could do her no good, for she was hurt by a near 
neighbour, who would come into his house and up in the 
chamber where his wife was, but would go out again without 
speaking. After Vining came home, being in the chamber 
with his wife, Style came up to them, but went out again 
without saying a word. Ames continued in great pain till 
Easter eve foUowing, and then she died. Before her death, 
her hip rotted and one of her eyes swelled out. She declared 
to him, and at several times before, that she believed Elizabeth 


Witchcraft in Wincanton. 

Style had bewitched her, and that she was the cause of her 

For some reason or other, whether because pressure was 
put on her and she thought that like Topsy she must " fess" 
something, or because ^e believed that she possessed the 
power, everyone, clergy, justices, and laity ,ascribed to her, 
or whether proud of her achievement, or, likeliest of all, that 
she was a lunatic, Elizabeth Style made to that profound 
lawyer, Robert Hunt, an extraordinary confession, which I 
will compress as much as possible. She said that about ten 
years ago, the devil appeared to her in the shape of a hand- 
some man, and after of a black dog. He promised her 
monev and the pleasure of the world for twelve years if she 
would with her blood sign his paper, which was to give her 
soul to him, and observe his laws, and that he might suck 
her blood. This she did, upon which he pricked the fourth 
finger of her right hand, between the middle and upper joints. 
She signed with her blood with an O. The devil gave her 
sixpence and vanished with the paper. He had appeared to 
her since as a man, a dog, a cat, and a fly like a miliar, in 
which last form he usually sucks in her pole at about 4 o'clock 
in the morning. (That she was so sucked on the 27th Jan.,) 
and that it usually gave her pain. She went on to say, that 
when she had a desire she calls him by the name of Robin^ 
when he appears, and she then says to him, — <<0, Satan, give 
me my purpose." About a month ago, she desired him to 
torment Elizabeth Hill and to thrust thorns into her, which 
he did. That about a month ago, Alice Duke, Ann Bishop, 
and Mary Penny, met about 9 o'clock at night in the 
Common, near Trister Gate. They met a man in black 
clothes to whom they curtsied, and she believed it was the 
devil. At that time Alice Duke brought a picture in wax, 
which was for Elizabeth Hill. The man in black took it in 
his arms, anointed its forehead, and said, — « I baptise thee 
with this oil." He was godfather, and she and Ann Bishop 
godmothers. They all stuck thorns in this image, after which 
they had wine, cakes, and roast meat, which the n^n in 
black brought. They danced and made merry. They again 
met and went through a similar performance with another 
wax figure, which they called John. This time it was for 
Robert Newman's child. She further related that Anne 
Bishop, Alice Duke and herself, met on another night in a 
field near Marnhull, where the devil again met them and 
baptised a picture by the name of Ann Hatcher. Then they 
made merry with wine and cakes. She said that before 


Witchcraft in Wincanton. 

attending their meetings they anoint their foreheads and wrists, 
and then they are soon carried, using the words as they pass — 
"Thout, tout a tout, a tout, tout, throughout and about,** 
and when they go from their meetings they say — " Rentum 
Tormentum." After giving more details, she said that "they 
are sometimes in their bodies and clothes, sometimes their 
foodies are left behind, yet they know one another." 

When they would bewitch, they have an apple, dish or 
spoon, or other things, which must be duly baptised by the 
evil one before they can do harm. Sometimes they did it by 
a touch or a curse, but nothing without the devil's leave. 
She had been at several meetings in the night at Lye 
Common, on a common near Motcombe, and at MarnhulL 
Next she gave the names of her companions in these evil 

Most of the names were at that time common in the 
neighborhood. John Combes, John Vining, Richard Dickes, 
Thomas Bolster, Thomas Dunning, James Bush, Rachel 
King, Rachel Lannen, a woman named Durnford, Alice 
Duke, Anne Bishop, Mary Penny, and Christopher Ellen, 
all of whom did obeisance to the devil, who was at all their 

The man in black sometimes plays on a pipe or cittern^ 
and they danced. At last the devil vanisheth, and all are 
soon carried to their homes. At their parting, they say — 
" A boy, merry meet, merry part." 

She tormented Elizabeth Hill because her father had 
said that she was a witch. She had seen the familiar of 
Alice Duke suck her in the shape of a cat, and that of Anne 
Bishop suck her in the shape of a rat. That s\ years ago, 
Anne Bishop had brought a wax picture to one of their 
meetings. It was baptised by a man in black by the name 
of Peter. It was for Robert Newman's child, of Wincanton. 

The depositions were taken down day after day. For 
instance, Alice Duke, or Manning, was examined by Robert 
Hunt, Esq., J. P., for five days in January and February, 1664. 
She confirmed what had been said before, and further said 
that eleven or twelve years before that she had gone into 
Wincanton churchyard in the night time, when they met a 
gentleman in black, who successively changed into a toad 
and a rat. 

For all this, Elizabeth Style, of Stoke Trister, was sent 
for trial by a jury at Taunton. The poor wretch was found 
guilty, and was to have been executed, but she died before 
the day fixed therefor, on such evidence as no reasonable 

Witchcraft in Wincanton. 

creature would hang a dog in these days. It is very notice- 
able that the <* Father of lies*' kept his character in this 
instance, for he cut ofi" about two years of the life he had 
promised Elizabeth Style, and her share of the pleasures of 
the world appears to have been very scant}'. 

The plain lesson of all this is — That deeply imbedded in 
human nature is the idea of a spiritual world. That going 
from the Father of Spirits, men seek unto "witches that 
peep and mutter," and in consequence give themselves over 
to a reprobate mind. ' A mind stayed on God fears nothing 
physical or spiritual, for "the spirit of lovecasteth out fear.*' 
The testimony of the old and new testaments agree. " Seek 
ye out the book of the Lord and read, no one of these shall 
fail." "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither 
will they believe though one rose from the dead." 


Window Taxbs in Wincanton. 

Yf^tiAovl jaxc^ In YfWcati\oti. 

A few years ago it was by no means an uncommon thjng 
to see many windows, especially those of bedrooms, blocked 
up, and even to this day there are sham windows in compar- 
atively new houses, some of them simply put in for appearance 
sake. Within the last half century, many of them have been 
re-opened. The wretched tax was not abolished until 1851. 
Young people may perhaps wonder why they were blocked, 
after having been opened ; elderly people, however, remember 
that all householders had to pay a tax on every window above 
two. In consequence, to save themselves from this obnoxious 
and wicked tax, they stopped up some of those windows, 
perhaps having just one brick loose which they could remove 
when they particularly wanted a little light for some special 
purpose. It is obvious that not only was the blessed light 
excluded, but the air also ; the latter, however, was not con- 
sidered so great a deprivation. This abominable tax was not 
a light one either, as the following list of tax-payers shows. 
The list in MS. has been preserved for 128 years, and from it 
I copy verbatim. 

" WiNCANTON Town. 
Quarter Tax on Houses, Windows and Lights for the year 1 774. 

Windows. £ s. d. 

Andrews, Hannah Widow 
„ John, barber 
J, Richard 
„ Peter 

Bennett Mrs. 

Bracher Wm. 

Blewett John 

Brickenden Thomas. 

Brown Nicholas 

Bariett John 

Brockway Robert 

Brooks ThoQUis 

Bull William 

Bowles James 

Bracher Samuel 

Beacon James, (Bear Inn) 







I oi 




2 10 


8 8 


I oi 


7 6 


5 I 




1 oj 


4 3 


I oi 






12 3 

Window Taxes in Wincanton. 

Combes Robert 

Cooper Mary 

Colley Mary 

Carpenter Mrs. 

Clewett Richard 

Carryer Robert (White Hart) . 

Clement Stephen 

Curtis Edward 

Cross John, gardener 

Clewett John, void this year 

Day Tames 

Day Mrs. 

Dove Mrs. 

Deane John (White Horse) 

Deane George 

Dove Samuelfor Gappers , 

Daw Thomas 

Davis John, collar maker 

Davis John Blacksmith 

Day William, for part of Black 

Elhs Thomas 

Edwards Bartholomew 




Qjamm ... 
Farrington Isaiah ... 
Fry John 
Guyer John 

Gapper Robert, (probably shut up) 
Gawler Abraham .. 
Goodfellow Thomiw • • • 
Green George Senr . ... 

Goodwin Unity ... 

Gloyn Joseph ... ... 

Hussey Mrs. widow... 
Harvey Wm. ... 

Hussey Thomas 

Harris John 

Hurd John ... • 

Hughes Mr. (Unitarian Minister) 

Hussey Edmund ... 

Hellier Thomas ... 

James Henry 
reson Martha (Ireson House) ... 



£ s. d. 


1 9 


I oj 




I 9 




7 li 




a 3 






I ok 


3 10 


3 6 


7 6 


I oi 


t 9 






5 1 


7 I 


I Or 


I <y 


I a 




6 4i 


I oi 




I oi 


I oi 




I oi 








I o- 




I 9 


I 9 


2 10 






7 lo* 

Window Taxes in Wincanton. 


£ s. d. 

\ ewell Jane 
vie Andrew 


I oi 



! Ciddle Mary 



King William 



Keates John 
Little David 


2 10 


4 3 

Lewis Richard 


6 4I 

Lewis Miss (Dressmaker) 


Littlejohn John 
Lush Israel 


6 9 

Lovell Charles 


5 I 

Mitchell Widow 



Matthews Abraham 




Messiter Mr. (Moulton) 


7 loj 

Mitchell Jos.feph) 
Manning Sol(omon' 

••• • 






Mitchell Mr. 


2 10 

Newman Robert 

••• •< 


I oj 

Obom Thomas 

••• • 


I oi 

Oatley Wm. 

»•• • 


I oi 

Pearce Edward 

••« • 


3 6 

Perfect Robert 

••• • 



Parsons Robert 

... * 



Pitman Henry 

••• .< 



Pomroy Widow 

••• • 



Pitman John 
„ Philip 

..• • 


2 3 

• • • •! 


I 8i 

Parsons Widow 

• .• . 




• •• • 


2 3 


Perratt John 

• •• • 


I li 

Parsons John 
Pitman Stephen 

• •• .1 


I 4 

• •. •< 


I oi 

Pearce Sarah 

•«• » 




Paul Samuel 

• •. • • 


I oi 

,, George 
Ring Mr. Richard 

• •• • 



• .• . 


7 loj 

Slade Thomas 

• •. • 


7 6 

Sweetman William 

• •• • 


I 0} 

„ Roger 

• •• • 


I of 

Snook Robert 

• •. • 




Sweatman Elizabeth 


Thick George's Widow 


I oi 

Thorn John Senr. 

• •• • 


I 4 


Window Taxes in Wincanton. 


£ s. d. 

Tewkesbury Mr. 


3 6 

Thorn John Junr. ... 


7 i^ 

Vining Isaac 



White James 
Way Thomas 




I oi 

„ Mr. 


7 6 

Webb John 


I ot 

Way James 





2 3 

White John 


2 10 

Winter Wm. senior 



Whereat Rob«t ... 



Wadman John 






1736— Clewetft John and Vinlng Michael. 

7 — Combe Kobert and King John. 

8 — Webb Simon and Brown Nicholas. 

9 — Ivie Charles and Flinger John. 
1740— Simpson Richard. 

I — Cross John and Webb John. 

2 — Shepard Edmund and Vining Joseph. 

3 — Mitchell John and Horler John. 

4 — Horler Iran and Hurd John. 

5 — ^Vining Joseph and Parsons John, junr. 

6 — Guyer John, junr., and Mitchell John. 

7 — Dove John and Feltham Henry, 

8— Smith Philip and Matthews Edward. 

9 — Parsons Joseph and Andress John. 
1750— Blade Thomas and Webb Simon. 

1 — M »» Ireson Nathaniel. 

2 — „ „ Plucknett Henry. 

3 — „ „ Dove Peter. 

4 — „ ff Webb John. 

5 — ,, „ Pitman Philip. 

6— 91 „ Pearce Thomas. 

7 — „ „ Deanejohn. 

8 — „ „ Farrington Isaiah. 
1771— ^Deane John and Lewis Richard. 

5 — Benjafield John and Edwards Bartholomew. 
6 — Gocidfellow Thomas a»d White John. 
7 — Hurd Philip and Pearce Edward. 
8— Day William and Paul Samuel. 
9 — Hussey Edmund and Deane George. 
1780 — Thorn John, junr., and Carpenter John. 
I — Harris John and Lush Israel. 
2 — Coward Richard and Davis John. 
3 — Dove John and Pitman Philip. 
4 — ChafFey Wm. and Winter Wm., senr. 
5 — Brown John and Craddock William. [overseer. 

6 — Thorn Charles, Lintom James. Thick Charles, acting 
7 — Coward John and Brown Nicholas. „ 

8— Bracher Thomas and Edwards Charles. „ 
9— Cooper Harry and Davis John. „ 


Overseers of the- Parish of Wincanton. 

1 790— White John and Clewett Charles, | ^^^ oveJ^r! 

I — Gatehouse Charles and Thick Charles. 

2 — Dove John and Brown John. 

3 — Perrior Roger and Bessant Robert 

4 — Deane George and Obom Benjamin, 

5 — Combes Robert and Tomkins George. 

6 — Melliar Robert and Dyke Robert. 

7 — Brown Joseph and Dyke Henry. 

8 — Morrish Christopher and Richards Thomas. 

9 — Davis Robert and Randall John. 
1800— Randall John. 

I — Mitchell Benjamin and Lane William. 

2 — Pitman Philip and Benjafield Samuel. 

9 — Webb William and Melhuish William. 
1 810 — Stokes Francis and Andrews William. 

I — Horwood John and Biggin William. 

2 — Arnold Richard and Percy William. 

3 — Doney William and Morrish Nathaniel. 

4 — Garrett Thomas and Richards John. 

5 — White George and Bracher Thomas, junr. 

6 — Herridge William and Slade Thomas. 

7 — Davis John and Mitchell James. 
1818-20 — Baker George and King George. 
1 82 1 — Messiter George and Richards James. 

3 — Bracher George and Bracher William. 
1827-31 — Thorn John and King George. 
1832 — Hansford benjamin and Creed John. 

3 — Wyndham George. 

4 — Bracher James and Dyke Charles. 

5 — Curtis Edward and Moger Anthony. 

6 — Sly Samuel and Dyke John. 

7 — Hannam James and Gray Joseph. , 

8 — Davis Thomas and Perrett John. 

9 — Russell George and Linton William. 
1840— Gatehouse John and Macmillan John. 

I — ^Arnold Richard Mogg and Dyke John. 

2-3 — Richards Thomas and Wm. Hutchings. 

4 — Phillips Thomas and Crew James. 

5 — Goodfellow John and Meaden Edward. 

6 — Winter William and Biggin Robert. 

7 — Dowding Charles and Hayter John. 

8 — Goodfellow John and Herridge William. 

9 — Feltham Charles and Bond George. 
1850— Day Ira and Dyke George T. 


Overseers of the Parish of Wincanton. 

1851 — Vining C. M. and Biggin William. 

2 — ^Jacobs Uriah and Dauncey John. 

3 — ^Davis John and Reakes George. 

4 — Matthews William and Hannen William. 

5 — Deane George and Moody Thomas. 

6— Snook Henry and Parsons Charles. 

7 — Benj afield George and Cross Charles. 

8 — George James and Biggin George. 

9— Edwards John and Wyndham Henry. 
i860 — Green Elias and Deane Charles. 

I — Down Jonas and White George. 

2 — Green Robert and Ashford William. 

3 — Newman William and White Stephen. 

4 — Fry William and Feltham George. 

5 — Blake John and Parsons John. 

6 — Oborn Henry and Perrett George. 

7 — Vining Peter and Dyke Nathaniel. 

8 — Bracher William and Perrett John. 

9 — Bracher Benjamin and Roberts Thomas. 
1870 — Longman Samuel Hine and Feltham Charles. 

I — Hunt Charles and Roberts Stephen. 

2 — King Arthur and Parsons John. 

3 — „ „ Watling Edmimd. 

4 — Sweetman George and Perrett George. 

5 — Richards James and Bush Joseph. 

6— Bracher Philip Henry and Ashford Thomas. 

7 — Weare Josiah and Dyke Nathaniel. 

8 — Deanesfy Samuel and Horsey Charles. 

9 — Dyke Thomas and Dowding Edwin Henry. 
1880 — Mead Isaac and Perry William. 

I — Clementina Thomas and Reakes Alpheus. 

2 — Hannam John and Feltham Charles. 

3 — Hutchings Reginald R. and Raymond Wm. 

4--rNewman William, junr., and Herridge John. 

5 — Gibbs John and Shaw Charles J. 

6— Snook Henry and Martin Sidney. 

7 — Green Ambrose Wm. and Loader John R. 

8— Goodfellow William T. and Lippiatt J. H. Hi 

9 — Knight Alfred G. and Francis Eli. 
1890 — Lock George and Dowding Herbert. 

I— Shepherd Frederick and Roberts Walter. 

2 — Broadway Edmund and Blake Harvey. 

3 — Pocock Charles and Portnell JameS. 

4— Woodcock C. H. and Pitman Walter C. 

5 — Howes Charles, Weare William, and Blake C. F. 



1896 — Eden J. W., New E. J., anil Shewen John. 

7 — Maddocks James, Harris Edwin, and Deanesly 

8— Hutchings R. R., Amor J. B., and Hinks J. C. 
9 — Fudge J., Budgen T., and Lippiatt J. H. 
1900 — Bracher Wm. Herridge, Buck Frank, and 

Dyk« E, H. 
I — Bracher Wm. Herridge, Hannam John, and 

Emmerson Robt. 
2— Bracher W. H., Portnell J., and Feltham C. 


WiNCANTON People as Colonizers." 


This is not the place to tell the oft-told tale of the 
" Pilgrim Fathers." Many able writers on both sides of the 
Atlantic have given the general history of the emigration of 
the people of England to the United States during the 17th 
century, but in so far as can be ascertained here will be set 
down what this neighborhood, and especially this parish, con- 
tributed to the early peopling of America. As is but natural, 
our cousins in America are more keen on these matters than 
we are; The interest they take in pedigrees is most praise- 
worthy, for of all the perplexing subjects in which we can 
engage, I know of none so perplexing as Genealogy. The 
most patient investigators have always, not only something to 
learn, but much to unlearn. True it is that the elucidation 
of obscure subjects gives most thorough pleasure, but to rack 
one's brains almost to madness to complete a pedigree, and 
then to find that a link or links are missing, and that one has 
to go over the whole thing again and again, and at last to find 
that some one or other can upset all your careful calculations, 
is aggravating in the extreme ; and yet, in spite of all this, 
some attempt must be made to connect the past with the 
present. With this preliminary statement, I will here present 
such &cts as I think can be fairly proven. 

Amongst the earlv emigrants from this parish were repre- 
sentatives of the Ewens, Dyer, Vining, Meade, Gutch, 
Freke, and Sweetman fiamilies. Of these, there were Puritans, 
mainly perhaps Nonconformists ; and Royalists, for the most 
part Episcopadians. Some of them, again, went to enjoy in a 
new country liberties denied them in their own ; others, who 
were broken down in fortune, left to gain in America what they 
despaired of regaining at home. In these da^s, there is much 
mixtiure of politics and religious profession in families, and 
this mixture prevailed in the 17th century and after. This is 
one of the chief difficulties, at least so I find it, in discovering 
to which party particular individuals at that time belonged. 
Even specialists on this subject differ, then *< who shall decide 
when doctors disagree ? " By this, happily, " the right of 
private judgment is established." 

In 1631, Mathew Ewens, of North Cadbury, in making 
his will, said, that he intended '' by God's grace to take a long 
journey." One is at first disposed to thihk that what he 


WiNCANTON People as Colonizers. 

meant was to go into the next life, but, apparently, this was 
not what he meant, but that his intention was to cross the sea. 
He appears, as I am informed by a descendant of his. Major 
Clarence Ewen, of New York, to have gone to Boston, accom- 
panied by his relatives, Edward Ewens, of Suddon, Wincanton, 
and Robert Freke, of Dorset. Mathew died, and his will was 
proved in 1633. If he had been buried at North Cadbury, his 
burial would be found recorded in the Register of Burials in 
that church, but apparently it is not found there. Edward 
Ewens, born at Suddon in 1607, died near Exeter, in what is 
now called New Hampshire, then called New Somerset, on the 
9th November, 1667. In the year following, Edward's son, 
Edward, removed to Boston to join the Frekes. John Freke, 
a son of Robert Freke, who married Katherine Ewens, was 
buried at Boston in 1674, and there Edward Ewens married a 
Miss Clarke, on a tombstone there the arms of the Ewens and 
Clarkes being united. These early settlers from Somerset 
were no doubt attracted to New Somerset, not only by 
sentiment, but because Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who was a 
Somerset man, had a Royal patent to hold a large tract of 
land there. They were mostly Royalist families, of which the 
members increased much too fast for their fortunes. The port 
of embarkation was Bristol, their vessel "The Angel Gabriel," 
240 tons, and 16 guns, which traded between Bristol and 
Pemaquid, New Somerset. She was wrecked at Pemaquid in 
a great gale in the harbour in 1635. 

We next come to William Dyer, who, with 18 others, on 
the 7th of March, 1638, founded the town of Portsmouth, 
Rhode Island, U.S.A., when the said William was about 40 
years of age. Mr. Louis Dyer, a few months ago, furnished 
a long and interesting account of his ancestor to the S. S* D. 
Notes and Queries, to which those who require greater detail are 

Briefly stated, however, it may be said that W^illiam was 
a son of George Dyer, of Bratton St. Maur. His grandmother, 
who lived there, was a rich woman, but, in making her will, 
she distributed her fortune amongst about forty relatives. 
William's share was only ten pounds, and his father, in 1623, 
is described as " pore." It is little wonder that he wished to 
emigrate to better his fortune ; (of the 18 others I can find no 
Wincanton name.) He married Mary Longe, who was 
probably a Wincanton woman. Jerom Longe died here in 

This party of emigrants did not agree long together at 
Portsmouth, accordingly, he and seven others separated, and 


WiNCANTON People as Colonizers. 

on the 28th April, 1639, founded Newport, Rhode Island. 

Mary Dyer was a most uncompromising Quaker. She 
gave her family no end of trouble. Saved from jail several 
times, and once from death, she was finally accused of witch- 
craft, and according to the pious and enlightened laws of those 
times, and that country, she was hanged on a tree at Boston 
in 1660. 

The Longes were a strange family. Herodias Longe, a 
sister of Mary Dyer, at the age of 14, was married at St. 
Faith's Church, London, in 1637, to a John Hicks, who took 
her to New England, robbed and deserted her. In 1648, she 
was married to George Gardiner. (Gardiner was a Wincanton 
name at that time.) They lived together until 1665, when they 
were divorced. When she was between 40 and 50 years of 
age she again married, this time to John Porter, probably 
related to Deliverance Porter, to whom we shall refer later 
on. William Dyer, the son of William and Mary, died in 
Sussex Co., Pennsylvania, in 1690. 

Meade. One of this family, now or late of Rochester, 
N.Y., claims relationship to a David Meade, who is said to 
have been a native of Wincanton, and a captain of cavalry 
in the army of Cromwell. The parish raster records that a 
Richard Meade was buried in the churchyard on July nth, 

A group of Wincanton Emigrants^ about 1652. 

The following account is taken from ''New England 
Historical Registers." 

''These presents are to certifie unto whom it may conceme, 
that wee Thomas Cromwell and John Cromwell whoe have 
beene long inhabitants here in ye towne of Salem in the county 
of Essex in New England, doe testifie that wee have known 
Hugh Joanes as one coming from England in the same ship 
with us into the country above thirty years agoe, and we 
understand in Mr. Strattons ship, that he came from Wincanton, 
and was servant to Mr. Robert Gutch and his sister, and 
Elizabeth Due, and Margaret White and James Abbott, and 
John Vining as we understood came from the same place, and 
the said Hugh Joanes that came along with us into the country 
is now living. 

Taken upon the corporall oathes of the saide Thomas and 
John Cromwell in Court at Salem the 27th June 1682 and 
alsoe the saide Hugh Joanes then psonally appeered in court 
being in health. 

Hugh Joanes married ist Hannah Tompkins, June 26 



1660. She died May 10, 167a. He married 2nd Mary Foster 
31-io-mo 1672." 

It is quite possible that most of these people were connected 
with Wincanton parish. Due or Dew is not I believe a 
common name. I find in the parish register that Christian 
Dew was buried at Wincanton on Sept. i6th, 1645, and it is 
only about 50 years since that Nancy Dew, the laLSt of the 
family here, died. Margaret, the wife of Henry Jones, was 
buried here on Sept. 30th, 165a. Anchoret Abbott, widow, 
was buried here in August, 1645. White was a well-known 
family here, and the christian name, Margaret, is fcequent 
from the year 1645. 

Robert Gutch^ referred to above, bore a well known 
Wincanton name. Elderly people remember two of both the 
christian and surnames. I have also heard ai another Robert 
Gutch here, who wrote a religious book, entitled — ** The sure 
foundation." The depositions of the Cromwells are not the 
only evidences we have of an early Robert Gutch going out to 

In the month of August, 1885, a cler^man of the city of 
Bath, Maine, U.S.A., then an old man, smce deceased, wrote 
a letter to a brother clergyman in this neighborhood, in whidi 
he said — 

" I have learned that the Rev. Robert Gutch, the first uttkr 
in our city. of Bath, in 1665 came from Wincanton, England, 
previous to his departure for America. He came to the wild 
woods of Maine, and settled on the banks of Keunebee. My 
residence is on a portion of land owned by his grand-daughter. 
The front part consists of 35 acres. I have mentioned the 
above to ask if you think anything can now be learned of the 
said Rev. Robert Gutch. Would records be likely to be in 
existence in Wincanton concerning him or the family ? If so» 
I should be veiy glad to have copies. We have never, so far, 
been able to learn any particulars of him previous to his 
coming to America. It was only a short time since I learned 
that he came from Wincanton. If this information is correct, 
and if it is not too much trouble for you to make the enquiry 
and learn any £acts, I should be greatly obliged. 

Yours truly, F. S. Dike. 

It is a strange thing that the name of Gutch does not 
appear in the list of burials from 1636 to 1720, nor do I find 
the name in any local document till 1801. 

The Vining Family. 
It is impossible to feel any surprise that some of this 



family tried to find a home across the seas. Here they simply 
swarmed. From April 17th, 1636, to t72i» no less than 162 
of them were buried in the churchyard. In the i6th century, 
the Vining femily and that vi the Dyers were closely connected, 
and on the other side of the water they ke{>t up the connection. 

Mr. Mark Vining, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, claims to be a 
descendant of the Wincanton Vinings. He says — *'In the 
town records of Weymouth, Massachusetts, it says that John 
Vining came from Wincanton, England, in Mr. Stratton's ship. 
He was a cooper, and about x6 years old. He settled in 
Weymouth, U.S., and was a 'select man,' and held other 
putmc offices for many years, and amassed a fortune. He left 
m his will l^ge property to his wife and eight children. One 
of the overseers of his will was his kinsman Joseph Dyer.'* 
Mr. Louis Dyer says that the Dyers were Royalists. Mr. 
Vining says that the Vinings were Puritans in America, and 
that the Dyers there, their most intimate friends, presumably 
were Puritans also. ** Mr. Stratton's chip" left Weymouth, 
England, in 1652. I have, however, failed so far to discover 
any particulars respecting her passengers. Amongst the sub- 
scribers to this book are several of the families most interested. 
I can but hope they, being so keen on matters of this sort, 
will trace out on the other side what I have failed in tracing 
on this side. The young cooper may have been a son of John 
Vining, landlord of the White Horse referred to on page 90, 
and the Feoffee who took office in 1635, (see page 27). This 
young emigrant, in the year 1676, testified tha/t he was then 
40 years of age. He took to wife a Mary Reed. His will 
was witnessed by Ddiverance Porter, James Lovei and Thomas 
Dyer. It is noticeable that the port of embarkation and dis- 
embarkation is Weymouth. Probably the name was given. on 
the other side in honour of the port on this. Apparently, 
John Vining above referred to was not the fitst of ithat name 
m America, inasmuch as in Vol. 47 of the " New England 
Historical Registers ** it is said that John Vyninge was made 
overseer of the will of Bennett Swayne, the elder of New 
Sarum, dated 3rd December, 163a 

The will of William Dyer, whose mother was hanged, 
was proved cm 4th September, 1690. He is diescribed as 
" William Dyer of Sussex County, reftnsylvania.*' 


Churchwardens op Wincanton. 


This is a very imperfect list, but, fragment as it is, it may 
answer a useful purpose. 

A.D. No. of Burials. 

1637— Moger Hugh and Wills Gecwrge. 15 

8— 13 

1640— Bunter Richard and Dicker Francis. 15 

X — Rideat William and Hill John. 47 

2— 15 

3— 19 
4— Picke John and Brock Anselm. 13 

5"" » f» f» 32 

6 — >9 99 »» 13 
7 — Plympton Francis and King John. 10 
8— 16 

^9— 33 

1650— IX 

I — Creed John and Beacon William. 24 

2 — „ Watts Edmund. 17 

3 — Paul Richard and Ivy Andrew. 16 

4 — (A summer of extreme heat.) 46 

5— 19 
6 — (Rev. Henry Shepard buried here on May 7th.) 16 

7— 24 
8 — (A year of very severe weather.) 22 
9 — Register evidently neglected. i 

1660 — 12 
' Such a time of the year was never known ) g 
in this world before."-— £w/yii. / 

2— 15 

3— 27 

4 — Rogers John and Lewis William. 25 

5 — Tucker Kobert and Hill Owen. 32 

^— w »f » 27 

7 — Gapper Abraham and Lewis Benjamin. 16 

8 — Ivy William and Paul Richard. 32 

9 — Clark William and Jerratt John. 30 

1670— King John and Stone Matthew. 39 

I — Vining George and Shepherd Robert. 13 

2 — King John and Ivy Andrew. 17 

3 — Addams Edward and Pond Hugh. 18 



Churchwardbns op Wincantom. 

A.D. No. of Burials. 

1674 — Clement John and Pike John. 25 

5 — Jerrattjohn and Combe John. 34 

6 — ^Dove reter and Sweatman Roger. 68 

7 — Lewis William and Hill Owen. 26 

O— 19 •! »• 24 

9 — Clement Nicholas and Ivey Richard. 20 

1680— Vining George and Pawlett Robert. 18 

I — Gapper Abrsdiam and Keene John. 34 

2 — King Robert and Stone Matthew. 39 

3 — ^Bennett Philip and Hill Owen. 47 

(Longest frost on record.^ 

4— Wilton Jerome and Clarke William. 60 

(91 days of frost.) 
5— Ta 

5 — Tatum Edward and Flower Benjamin. 27 

6— Flower Benjamin and Tatum Edward. 52 

(Exceedingly hot season.)) 
7 — lyye William and Harvey Thomas. 
8 — Pierce Abraham and Horler John. 
9 — Mitchell John and Jewell Stephen. 
1690— „ „ „ 

I —Edwards Richard and Vining John. 
2 — Stacey Jasper and Cockey WiUiam. 

3""~ »» »> >» 17 

4 — Bennett Philip and Hill Owen. 31 

5 — *9 » " 25 

6 — Keene Morgan and Dove Peter. 25 

7 — Shepherd Richard and Clement John. 37 

8 — Lewis William and Dove Peter. 36 

9 — Gapper Thomas and Galley John. 31 

1700 — Swanton William and Vuung John. 27 

I — $f fy 99 4^ 

2 — King Robert and Parker Henry. 35 

3 — „ Cockey William. 47 

(Great tempest, 1500 seamen perished.) 

4 — Bennett Philip and Hill Owen. 55 

5 — Churchey James Laurence and Day James 26 

6 — Gapper Thomas and Churchey James. 23 

7 — King Robert and Jewell Stephen. 23 

8 — Bennett Philip and Hill Owen. 23 

9 — Churchey Thomas and Cross SamueL 31 

1 710— King Bernard and Pounsett Richard. 32 

I — Bennett Philip and Hill Owen. 89 

2 — Churchey Thomas and White Robert. 36 

3 — Churchey James „ „ 14 



A J>. NoL cf 

1714— Cbnrdiejr Thoans. 25 

5 — M and Ccihr Bcnj iMin 18 

6 — Combe Brajam ia aad Day JaaiesL 44 

(Tbe TbaJDcs dried iq».) 

7— Pearoe ThoaMS aad Fckham Darid. 27 

8 M 9» 9» *I 

9 — »» »» •• 30 

I— (To Jon^— 10 

3— 34 

♦— 45 

5- 38 

6— (Rer. Elias Bnlgio buried Fdiu 14th.) 77 

7— 37 

8— G^Vper Abfabaan. 51 

9— 51 

J7*>-' 33 

I— 57 

«— 48 

3— ^9 

4^ PihefoliiL 30 

5 — ^Deane George and PQBe John. 39 

^"^ ft »f ft 3' 

7— »» ff ff ^ 

8— ft ft t» 35 

9— f» »» »» 5' 
Z740— Colley Robert and Clewett ]6bn. 55 

^"^ ft ft »» 5' 

i~* ft ff SjFiupflou Robert* 4' 

3— Webb Simoa and Omibe Robert. as 

4 — f , f« Mathew Abraham. 30 
5 — ^Webb John and Slade Thomas. 30 
6— White Robert and Mathew Abraham. 24 
7 — Cross John and Burnett Thomas. 51 
8 — Mitchell John and Ivie Andrew. 33 
9 — Ireson Nathaniel and Brickenden John. 41 

1750 — White Thomas and Vining Joseph. 41 

^"^ f> >f j> 43 

2 — King John and Andrews John. 33 

3"" »> 9f If 33 

{New styU begfins this year. Hitherto the year 

commenced on March 15th.) 

4^-King John and Andrews John. 40 

5— Plucknett Henry aad Pitmsn Philip. . 20 




No. of Burials. 

1766'Lewis Richard and Pittman Stephen 

I. 33 

7"~ »» »> »» 


8— Mathew Edward and TUck John. 






I — 


2 — 


















X — 








5— Ellis Thomas and Bacon James. 


6— It ft t» 


7 — » ti fj 

8 If M ft 







I — 


1 — 










7— Deane George and Deane Thomas. 








I — 


2 — 


3— Carpenter John and Lintom James. 

• 40 











9— Lintom James and Carpenter John. 



Churchwardens op Wincantom. 

A.D. No. of Burials. 

1800 — Combe Robert and Morrish Christopher. 44 

^"^ f» »i f* 3^ 

2 y, II II 21 

3 — »» »» M 33 

4— II II Pitman P. K. 35 

5— >• If f» ^8 
6 — Melhuish Henryi and Mitchell Benjamini 34 

(mercer) (yeoman) 

7"~ 99 ft i» 37 











3 — •» ti II 39 

4— ' »« »i II 35 

5 — Wyndham George and Messiter George. 40 

6 — Eastment J. W. and Hansford Benjamin. 30 

7 — Bniorton William and Arnold Richard. 68 

8 — Messiter Henry and Richards John. 68 

9 — Arnold Richard and Bruorton \A^illiam. 48 

1840— Baker James Jonathan. 79 

I— Baker J. J. and Dyke George. 45 

2 — Baker J.J. 34 



ft it 
tt tt 



9t 9f 


I — Howes John and Stokes Francis, 

2 — Messiter George and 

Ring Richard. 


• 1 It 



•1 if 



If It 



ft II 



11 II 






II I* 


1820— Ring Richard and Messiter George. 




2 — 

f» 11 



If II 






If fi 









•1 If 



If II 



If II 





2 — Messiter George^ and Deane Edwin, 

Churchwardens of Wincanton. 


No. of Burials. 

1843— Baker J. J. 
















1 — 


a — 


















I — 

and Purchase J. B. 



and Down Jonas. 



»• 91 



99 99 












and Richards Thomas. 


1870 — Cooper E. Y. and „ 

I — 


, „ Messiter Herbert, 


2 — 


» 19 9» 


3 — Messiter 

John and Surrage James. 



„ Colthurst James 
Herbert and Shaw C. J. 



5— M 





99 99 




9» >9 


8— Shaw C. 

J. and Dyke Nathaniel, junr. 




99 99 




99 99 


I— Fowler Fredk. Thirlwall and Dyke 

N.y junr. 


2 — 

99 99 




99 99 




99 99 




99 99 




„ and Shaw C. J. 



Churchwardens op Wincanton. 


No. of Bumts. 

1887— Fowler F. T. 

and Langhorne 

Wm. Bailey. 







9— Foi 

metery opened June 



Including 16 in 









I — 






2 — 








Exclusive of workhouse 









Including 8 m workhouse 






























I — 






a — 




w Ho^ital 4 





I have often regretted that the custodians of Parish 
Registers did not enter the ages of those buried. We could, 
if they had so done, have come to more certain conclusions 
as to the comparative longevity of our predecessors and our- 
selves. There is no doubt in my mind that not only is the 
AVERAGE of humau life in the 19th century much higher, but 
that there are more octoginaruins and nonog$nanans now than 
in the centuries that have passed. This is undoubtedly true 
of this parish. It is also true that this is a healthy parish, 
especially since the new system of drainage was brought 
into operation, and the supply of water plentiful. At Mid- 
summer, 1898, there were 169 inmates of the Union Workhouse 
reported upon. 82 of them were above 60 years of age, and 
the average age of the whole number was 72 years and five 
months ; there was one at 90, and 15 of 80 years and more. 
The oldest man in this district I have heard of was Joseph 
Melhuish, of Pitcombe, who died on 23rd February, 1838, at 
the age of io8. The oldest in the following list is Mrs. 
Isabella Sly, who died on xoth December, 1875, when she 
had reached io2« Mrs. Thring, of Alford, who was bom on 
X2th Sept., 1790, lived till Sept. 26th, 1891, and she was 
buried on the 80th anniversary of her wedding day on Oct. 
I St following. 

A large proportion of those whose names follow were 
bom, lived, and died in the parish. The remainder were all 
more or less intimately connected with the parish. From the 
parish register, onlv nonogenarians have been taken, other- 
wise the Ust would nave assumed undue proportions. 

Andrews George Sept. 17, 1823 ... 92 

A'Barrow Miss Christian ... Sept. 26, 1875 ... 94 

Andrews Sarah Nov. 7, 1813 ... 90 

Andrews William (barber) ... Sept. 17, 1853 ••• 9^ 

Andrews John July 14, 1831 ... 92 

Atkins or Extence Noah (laborer) Dec. 18, 1881 ... 100 

„ Dorothy;... Feb. 17, 1842 ... 97 

Baily John, Hotel Proprietor Aug. 10, 1882 .. 81 

Baily Maria, widow Sept. 8, 1901 ... 84 

Baker James Jonathan, gent Fd). 21, 1890 .<. 82 

Baker John Webb, gent ... Sept. 30, 1895 ... 68 

Longevity in thb Parish. 

Bamford Sampson, gent 

March 29, 1901 


Benjafield Maiy, widow of Abedn^o March 31, 1896 



Bessant Mary 

: )ec. 2, 1822 



Beveridge Sarah, widow 
Biggin Wm., fiariner 

uly II, 1892 
darch 21, 1853 





Bioletti Alberto, hairdresser 

March 14, 1840 



Bond John, brickmaker 

Nov. 3, 1895 



Bracher Margaret Eliza 

Dec. 23, 1899 



Bracher Susan, widow 

Jan. 31, 1890 
Dec. 23, 1869 



Brickenden Elizabetii 


Brickenden Thomas, Dr. ... 

Sept. 4, 1857 



Brown John, gent 

Tan. 12, 1850 
Nov. 4, 1819 



Brown John, gent 



Brown Matilda, widow 

March 29, 1856 



Brown Priscilla, wife of John 

May 3, 1831 



Brown Rose ... ••• ... 

an. 18, 1902 



Bye William, supervisor 

une 14, 1840 



Bond Elizabeth 

Nov. 19, 1868 



B^cH,^: J'SSS^ 




Burton Dove 

Feb. 27, 1846 



Barrettjohn ... 

Chant Philip 

Jan. 13, 1821 



April 13, 1901 



Churchey William 

Clewett William 

Jan. 14, 1897 
Feb. 13, 1900 





Collins Rev. Henry 

Oct. 28, 1881 



Coombes Jane 

March 7, 1900 



Cooper Edward Yalden, gent 

Dec. 15, 1897 



Cox Elizabeth 




Craddock Charles, fisirmer ... 

Feb. 14, 1895 



Craddock Mary, widow of Arthur June 9, 1899 



Crew Mary, \yidow 

^ uly 24, 1891 



Cross Elizabeth, widow of Wm. 

' ilay 18, 1902 



Cross Margaret, wife of Thomas 

uly I, 1876 



Cross Thomas, faxmer 

Aug. 17, 1884 



Crouch Edwin 

uly 13, 1902 



•Churchey James 

une 16, 1826 



Chaple Harriet 

>Iov. 29, 1855 



Clewett John 

April 14, 1870 



Davidge Ann 

Dec. 29, 1 891 



Davi(^e Charles 

March 6, 1902 



Dauncey Harriett 

Sept. 12, 1 891 



Davis John, printer 

Jan. 14, 1897 
Sept. 2, 1805 



Davis ^bhn 



Davis Judith 

Sept. 22, 1826 




Longevity in the Parish. 

Davis Mary 

Davis Robert 

Davis Thomas, saddler 
Day Rebecca ... 

Deane Mrs. Charles 

Dove Eliza, widow 

Dowding Charlotte, widow ... 

Drover Mr. John 

Dyke Elizabeth 

Dyke Elizabeth, widow of Henry 
Dyke Henry, retired farmer... 
Dyke Nathaniel, retired fBtrmer 

Foot Joseph 

Francis Thomas, plumber ... 
Gapper Thomas Aubrey, gent 

Godwin Mary 

Goodfellow Henry 

Goodfellow John, organist ... 

Green George 

Green Harriett, widow of Chas« 
Green Robert, parish clerk ... 
Green Susannah, widow of Thomas 

Gregory John 

Gutch Robert, attorney 

Guyer John 

Guyer Charlotte, daughter of John 
Hallet Mary 

Hahnam Mrs., widow. {Cgjj;} 

Hannam Uriah 

Hansford Betty 

Hansford Robt., pensioner ... 
Ha3rter James, Horwood 
Herridge Charles, retired farmer 

Hoskins Mrs. Alfred 

Howes John, draper 

Hunt Jane, widow of Henry 

Huss Thomas 

Hutchings Edwin, tailor 

Hutchings Richard 

'. jiutchings Susannah. . . 
! ngs Ann, widow of Edwin... 
^ acobs Uriah, china dealer .., 
] ames Jonathan^ schoolmaster 
^ eans Setty ••• . ••• 


Dec. 13, 1888 ... 85 

June 24, 1851 ... 97 

Feb. 16, 1873 ... 90 

March 11, 1833 ... 91 

Nov. 10, 1896 ... 83 

May 20, 1900 ... 80 

Sept. 3, 1899 ••• ^3 

Wov. 26, 1867 •• 80 

/an. 7, 1843 ... 90 

Sfov. i8, 1891 ... 83 

Dec. IX, 1889 ••• S? 

/uly2, 1889 — 80 

] an. 27, 1851 ... 92 

'Siov. 16, 1850 ... 84 

Dec. 15, 1886 ... 92 

April 13, 1902 .. 86 

{une 17, 1890 ... 80 

larch 27, 1868 ... 81 

ian. 3, 1798 ... 102 

Jov. 15, 1890 ... 82 

April 2, 1895 ••• ^^ 

Aug. 5, 1874 — 96 

Oct. 14, 1897 ••• ^ 

Aug. 30, 1828 ... 82 

Oct. 23, 1846 ... 83 

April 19, 1880 ... 83 

Jan. 3, 1842 ... 91 

1892 ... 82 

Feb. 24, 1902 ... 81 

March 10, 1862 ... 93 

Time 29, 1887 ... 80 

Jan. 23, 1849 ... 85 

Dec. II, 1896 ... 85 

Jan. 9, 1889 ... 84 

April 3, 1857 ... 82 

Jan. 30, 1873 ••• ^ 

ime 21, 1845 ... 93 

Oct. 24, 1887 ••• 81 

March 21, 1901 ... 87 

Sept. 26, 1868 ... 84 

June 8th, 1893 ••• ^* 

Aug. 13, 1876 ... 84 

July 18, 1881 ... 93 

une 15, 1847 ... 94 

LoHGtvirr IN TRB Parisb. 

Jeanes Susan, spinster 

leanes Susmna, widow ••• ' uly 1874 ... 96 

Kevill William ] tdy 04, X902 ... 85 

Kimber Jamos' ••« .... Feb. 10, 189a ... 83 

King. Dorcas, widow 

uly 28, 1882 ... 80 

uly 7, 1903 ... 8a 

King. Riduurd,. tailor April 28, 1892 ... 8a 

Knight Wm. March 27, 1902 ... 82 

Knighton Ann Jan. 16, i8do ... 82 

Knighton John, cuni^ ... Feb. 4,. 1874 ••• ^ 

Lapham Atice, widow ... Sept. 3, 1873 *•• ^^ 

LearDaniel .*. . . ... Feb. 7, 1830 ... 92 

Lydford Tdin, wheelwright... Nov. 19, 1672 ... 80 

Marsh Elizabeth June 7, 1900 ... 95 

Mead. Hannah April 6, 1834 ... 80 

Mead. Jane Mary, widow of Isaac March 9, 1894 ••• ^7 

Messiter Catherine Elizabeth Feb. 7, 1894 ••• ^^ 

Messiter Letitia Dec. 8, 1841 ... 83 

Messiter S. E.,. widow of H«irf Nor. 2^1, 1900 ... 82 

Milbome John Aug. 3, 1825 ... 92 

Mitchell Elizabeth Jan. 12, 1900 ... 83 

Miles .Christian .. .... March 20, 1869 ... 92 

Messiter Rev. Richard #•• May 15, 1885 ••• ^4 

Musgrave Mcs. Maria ».. Dec. 4, 1875 ••• ^^ 

Olding Henry, Horwood ^* Nov. i, 1870 ... 80 

Osmond Anna .^. ^. May 8, 1902 ... 86 

Osmond Joseph Aug. 2» 1858 ... 92 

Paddock Mary Feb. 1877 ... 84 

Parfitt George Tan. 18, 1902 ... 85 

Parsons Elizabeth May 3, 1856 ... 86 

Parsons Dr. S.^ N Ian. 14, 1881 ... 81 

„ William Feb. 16, 1837 ... 92 

Perry Wm., Verringtdn ... Dec. 16,, 1895 ••• ^ 

Philips Charles, Burton's Mill Dec., 17, 1873 ... 83 

Pitman Elijah, bootmaker ... Aug. x8, 1895 ... 86 

Pitman Eliza, widow of Elijah June 18, 1896 ... 84 

Pitman EHzabeth April 15, 1826 ... 80 

Fond Uriah .., « Nov. 11, 1891 ... 80 

Radford John, son of Rev. John Dec. 2,. 1899 ... 86 

Randall Mary, widow ».. Feb. i6» 1880 ... 8t 

Read Richard Tune 19, 1863 ••• 9^ 

Read William., Nov. 20, 1876 ... 91 

feendall Samuel April 10, 1900 ... 82 

Kichacds Charlotte^ Suddon Oct. X2» x88i ... 8t 

ftogecs Elizabeth^ widow .%• bun. zi^ 1893 ... 8t 

„ Mf^stiia ^. ^. March x6, 1833 •*<- 9^ 


Rowden John 

Sherring Jamas, cooper 
Sherring Sarah, widow 

Sims Jane 

Sims Wm., gas manager 

Slade Catherine 

Sly Isabella 

Sly Saml., wine merchant ..• 

Sly Selina Deane 

Stacey Elizabeth 

Stanger Elizabeth . . > 

Stokes Mary 

Stone Thomas 

Surrage Dr. Thomas Lyddon 
Sweetman Sarah, widow 
Taverner Martha, spinster ... 
Tayleur Henrietta, widow ... 

Taylor Ann 

Templeman Nancy 

Thick George 

Thorn Charles ... ».. 

Tottle John .•- •.. ••, 
Tozer John, schoolmaster »*. 
Trenchard George ... 

Vallis Mary Ann 

Vallis WUliam 

Vincent John 

Vining Sarah, widow 
Vining William, Whitehall ... 

„ Susan 4,. 

Wadman Henry 

Warren Elizabeth, widow ... 

Weare Joseph... 

Weare Sarsih 

Weston Eleanor 

White Ann, widow ..^ 

White James 

White Mary, widow 

White Thomas 

Williams Sarah, Dial House 

Wills Elizabeth 

Woodcock Thomas 

Yeo Mary 


Jan. 5, 1900 

► June 18, 1867 

^ uly 20, 1878 
]?eh. 19, 1879 
^ an. 15, 1847 

Dec. I, 1 901 
, an. 27, 185s 
.;>ec. 9, 1873 

une 10, 1890 
' yiarch 26, 1879 
Sept. 6, 1842 
Aug. 20, 1897 
Oct. 29, 1857 
Sept. I, 1827 
March 31, 1863 
May 18, 189Z 
Sept. 25, 1892 . 
Oct. 29, 1896 
Feb. 22, 1855 
April 10, 1895 
March 22, 1893 
Sept. 13, 1844 
Feb. 28, 1804 . 
Nov. 7, 1885 
May 9, 1902 
Dec. 17, 1902 
Sept. 7, 1876 
^ an. I, 1863 
] an. 23, 1891 
\ an. 9, 1863 
! ^ov. 21, 1902 , 

an. 14, 1893 
] uly 15, 1886 
7eb. 13, 1873 
^ an. 30, 1837 
Aug. 12, 1897 
Feb. 8, 1893 
Sept. 3, 1886 
March 18, 1843 
Dec. II, 1850 
Feb. II, 1873 
March 5, 1902 
May I, 1845 
















Local Buildings of Interest. 

€bt ISfifllititii^ of initvtit in tbt Colon 
anti B(tjg[|)t)ottooli« 

In the reports of the Wincanton Field Club, I have given 
the best accounts I could find of **The Dogs," "Balsam 
House," and '* Suddon House," which I need not repeat here, 
except in the very briefest manner, but there are many others 
in the town and neighborhood which deserve attention, and 
with which the interests of this parish have been bound up. 
Most of them have a living interest to the antiquary, and they 
appeal to all persons of cultivated taste, who, passing them, 
pause to admire. There are few strangers who visit the neigh- 
borhood who do not carry with, them pleasant remembrances 
of these houses and their settings. To say nothing of that 
delightful house, its gardens and lakes, at Stourhead, to which 
I have devoted an illustrated book, Compton Castle, Hadspen 
House, Redlynch House, Yarlington House, and several others, 
never fail to interest the cultivated eye, and appeal to the 
artistic sense of the visitor. To anyone visiting the town and 
enquiring, ** What is there to be seen here ? " this section is 
intended to be an answer. To the antiquary it may be an 
incentive to push his enquiries farther, and so satisfy his 
longing for information of which this description will stand 
for his ABC. It will, perhaps, be most convenient to refer 
first to those nearest home, not that they are the more 
important but because they are more easily reached. 

'*The Dogs'' on Tout Hill. 

This was undoubtedly the Manor House in the time of 
Richard Churchey, in 1678. It is probable that he had it 
built when he was a young man. In it he received the Prince 
of Orange, when on his march from Torbay to London in 
1688. The Orange room window may be seen firomthe street. 
It Daces the east, and is on the second floor of the left wing. 
The oak timber on the stairs is very fine. The house was 
restored by Ireson, probably between 1740-50. In the Orange 
room are. some paintings by the hands of some of the French 
captives of war, 1 805 -15. The gardens formerly were evidently 
very large. The owners of the house have been — Churcheys, 
Moggs, Biggin, Deanesly, and lastly the Rev. Walter Farrer, 
who now resides there. 


LocAj. Buildings ok Intbrbst. 

It is uncertain when it was first named ** The Dogs." It 
was so called in 1805. For many years a dog, carved in stone, 
stood on each pillar at the entrance g^te. A greyhound's head 
erased sable holding a trefoil or was the crest of the Churchey 
&mily. For a^ fuller account of the Churchey family the 
reader is referred to the Reports of the Wincanton Field Club. 

" Tout Hill House." 

The residence of Mr. W. E. Cooper. 
This house has every appearance of having been built in 
the latter half of the i8th century, probably after 1793 but 
before 1797, as it is shown in Robert Newman's picture of 
Wincanton, which is dated 18th May, 1797. It stands on or 
near the site of a former •* Mancon Howse," which was con- 
veyed on the 25th of February, 1651, with over 400 acres of 
land in Wincanton and Maperton, from James Churchey of 
Wincanton, merchant, to Bamabie Baker, of the close in the 
citty of New Sarum, and George Churchey of Weimouth. 
In 1726, " The mansion house, formerly two burgages, were 
conveyed to Samuel Barrett," whose son, ** Samuel Barrett of 
Wincanton, malster," conveyed it in 1752, with several fields 
adjoining, to Thomas Gapper. In that family it remained 
until the death of Thomas Aubrey Gapper in 1886. At the 
sale of Mr. Gapper's estate, the mansion was purchased by 
Mrs. Charles Tayleur, by whose trustees it was o£fered by 
auction again on June 25th, 1900, when it was purchased by 
its present owner. Part of the coach-house and stables date 
further back than the mansion. I am disposed to think that 
the former mansion stood on the site of the present coach- 
house, and that the mansion stands where two burgages formerly 
stood, and that it was built by Robert Gapper, junior, whose 
father, Robert, died in 1799, aged 79, and who himself died 
in 1828, aged 67 years. 

''Balsome House" 

The residence of Mr. Henry Snook. 
I have given all the information I can obtain about this 
house in a Report of the Wincanton Field Club. I find no 
allusion to it in the enumeration of the burgages in Queen 
Elizabeth's reign. This may, however, be accounted for by 
its not being in the borough proper. About the middle of the 
17th century it appears to have been owned by Mr. Barnabie 
Lewis, and at the beginning of the next century to have passed 
to the Cappers, and in that family it remained until Mr. T. A. 
Gapper's death in 1886. The house itself appears to b& 


Local Boildings op Imtbrbs^ • 

Jacobean ; very much altered in Ireson's time, whose hand is 
clearly traceable on it. It is without doubt one of the most 
desirable residences in the town, and is kept in good order. 
During the absence of the Gappers in London, which often 
happened, several of the family being eminent lawyers, it was 
let with the farm, and consequently was not kept so well as it 
otherwise would have been. There is one fine elm, 17 feet in 
girth, in front of the house, being the sole representative of a 
large number of contemporaneous elms of the same importance. 
A picture of the house appeared in an old illustrated 
magazine about a century ago, in which the elm appears, but 
which is lacking in the dignity it now possesses. 

The residence of Mr. John Wadman,. 

Stands about 400 feet above sea level, and over 100 feet 
higher than tbe church tower. The land on which it is built 
formed imtU recently a part of Windmill farm. Farther back 
in history it was a portion of unfenced land known as ** East- 
fi^d/' It is named after its owner and builder, who, leaving 
Stourton about 1726, purchased the &rm and erected the house, 
md carried on the business of master builder and potter. 
Ijreson lived here till his death in 1769. He amassed consider- 
able wealth, which he left for the most part to his wife, who 
died there in 1772, when she was succeeded by her maiden 
d«.ughter, Martha, who remained there till her death in 1797. 
In 1780, Mr, Christopher Morrish married Nancy Ketter- 
masters, a grsmd-daughter of Ireson, and on the death of 
Martha Ireson went there to live. His wife died in 1811, and 
he followed her in 1835. Mr, Wm. George purchased the 
estate and for a time had a kind of model farm. The house 
had several tenants since 1830 : the late Mr. E. Y. Cooper 
from 1834 to 1839, Mr. Lorimore, supervisor, after him. 

In 1 85 1, Mr; Thomas Moody purchased the estate and 
completely metamorphosed it. Indeed, he left but little of the 
old mansion standing. Till his time the house was approached 
by a flight of steps immediately facing the front door. Mr. 
Moody put up walls to enclose the whole premises, and made 
the new road by way of Flinger's Lane. He also brought the 
fine coat of arms in stone now at the top of the garden. Mr.^ 
Trenchard made very little diange of any sort there during 
his ownership. On its being offered by auction in September^ 
190a, Mr. Wadman bought it and went there to reside immedi*^ 
ately. From the front of the house may be had a fine view of 
the Vale of Blackmore and the hills beyond. 



M¥. Cashes Rsdimcif 

Though one of the best houses in the town, is without any 
distinguishing name, probably because it has grown piece by 
piece to its present dimensions. 

The property is inseparably connected with the MessLter 
family, who owned it for nearly a century and a half. 

Mr, Moulton Messiter, in 1762, purchased several 
messuages of Mr. William Clement ; Mr. John Brickenden^ 
an eminent doctor, being one of the tenants. He rented 
Coneygore of "Tomas Clarke of Brewton" in 1756, ancL 
purchased it in 1773. In 1786, he willed it to his wife, andf 
after her decease, or marriage, to his son Richard, who after- 
wards lived at Bayford Lodge. Mr. George Messiter resided 
here till his death in 183^, when he was succeeded by Mr. 
Henry Messiter, who diea in 1879. Mr. Arnold I. Beanett 
next purchased the premises and occupied them till he left in 
1895, when Mr. Cash became the owner and is still in possession. 
The Messiters carried on banionig, in wbat is now Mr. Cash's 
office, till 1^44, when Stuckey^ Baaiking Co. took over that 
part of their business. Until rece^ly there were some mul- 
berry trees in the groimds, said to have been planted by some 
of the French prisoners at the beginning of the i9ith century. 
The grouods are the £avK>rite resort of pleasure .parties, who 
are fortunate enough to be invited there for school festivals and 
other similar gatherings. 

''Rodber Hms^r 

The first distinct allusion I ckn find to this house is in 
connection with Simon Webb, who lived here in 1736. The 
early references to the Webb's in the parish register are very 
curt. It tells us simply that Laurence Webb died on Dec. 
29th, 1702 ; Thomas Webb died on July 5th, 1704 ; Dinah 
Webb died on March a6th, 1711. Siixioai married Martha 
King, who bek)Dged to an older Wincanton family, some <of 
whom at least were oigaged in the law. John King died on 
Jan. 1 6th, 1773 J Mary, his wife, on Nov, 25th, 1794. Simon 
was a linen weaver, a trade ** which brought much gadn " to 
the Wincantonians for at bast a couple of oeoturies. The 
house was built ax^w, or much re-bmlt, Hnce about 1730, and 
bears marks of the handiwork of Nathaniel Ireson, externally 
and internally. Simon Webb lived to a good old age as is 
evident from local documents. Apparently he bad the house 
built about the time of his maniagie, Elsewhere it will be 
seen that Simons was chnrcbwardsn ioL 1745 and 1944, aiul 


Local Buildings of Intbrbst. 

overseer in 1750. He died on March 6th, 1775, and his wife 
Martha on Nov. 8th, 1776. His son William succeeded, and 
died on April 28th, 181 9, aged 69. Martha, daughter of 
Simon and Martha, died on i6th Jan., 1811, aged 67. After 
this, Mr. George Baker lived here. His wife died in July, 
1830, and he died here at the end of 1839. Soon after this 
the house was restored, and the road in front removed to a 
greater distance from the house, and the wall built enclosing 
the premises. Mr. King then occupied it till his removal to 
Castle Cary. After this, Mr. Charles Deane married and went 
there to reside till his death in 1865. Mr. James Jonathan 
Baker then entered, and lived there till his death in 1890. Mr. 
Henry GuUey followed. Mrs. Charles Deane purchased it, 
and went there to live until her death in 1896. For a short 
time Dr. Edwin Deane lived there ; then at Michaelmas, 1897, 
Mr. T. J. George entered, and left after five years' occupati<Mi 
at Michaelmas, 1902. At the time of writing it is vacant. 

*' South Bank House," 

Recently purchased by Mr. Henry Chichester, stands on 
one of the highest points m the parish, being about 395 feet 
above sea level, and has an uninterrupted view of many miles 
of Somerset and Dorset, including the Vale of Blackmore. 
It has grown very much during the last century. It is to be 
regrett^ that the names of places around this house have 
been changed so often. It has led to confusion without any 
corresponding advantage. For instance, the hill was formerly 
called «« Sunnvhill," then " Conduit Hill," and since " Bayford 
Hill." The field at the east of the house was in 1741 called 
" Dove's Close," then " Webb's Ground." The house itself 
was " Hill House," but Admiral Selwyn called it " South 
Bank," which is a misdescription. " South View" would not 
be amiss, but it is on the North bank. The name ** Dove's 
Close " appears to indicate that Mr. Dove had a house of some 
sort there before 1741. Mr. John Webb lived there in that 
year, when he made the pond m " Dove's Close," to the detri- 
ment of the town's water supply. Before the hill was lowered 
it ran up to the same level as the house, which was much 
smaller than now. In 1789, on being offered for sale, it was 
described as " a genteel newbuilt dwelling house." The Rev. 

John Messiter was living there from 1801 to 1811. In 1836, 
Ir. George Messiter appears to have been residing there. 
During his occupation, it was greatly enlarged (about the year 
1848) by the addition of attics and extensions on the North 
side. Admiral Selwyn purchased the estate in 1871, and 




Local Buildings of Iktbrbst. 

again enlarged it and opened it out. He died in 1882. Mrs. 
Selwyn liv^ there for a few years, when it was sold to Mr. 
W. B. Langhome, who occupied it for 15 years, and in Feb.| 
1903, sold it to Mr. Henry Chichester. 

**Dcvonshif$ House" near the Church. 

This house may be reckoned amongst the most historical 
houses in the town. It has borne its present name only a 
dozen years ; previously it was known as ** The Parsonage." 
How long it was so called is uncertain, but in 1786, when 
purchased bv the Rev. Samuel Farewell, who left Holbrook to 
five here, it oore the name. 

Amongst its previous owners and occupiers were : — Early 
in the 17th century, Abraham Pearce ; next, Abraham Vining, 
who died an old man in 1686. He was followed by Samuel 
Vining ; then by Abraham Bulgin, who died in 1699 ; Rev. 
Charles Plucknett, 1745 to 1777 ; James Plucknett, 1777 to 
1786 ; Rev. Samuel Farewell, i7Si5 to 1797 ; Rev. James 
Fendall Hawkins, D.D., 1797, and who was living there in 
1830, but who died at Laverstock, Wilts, in 1836 ; Mr. John 
Messiter, till his death in 1891, when Miss Carter purchased 
and entered upon it, and still remains. 

It appears to have been in 1558 the propertv of Mr. 
Lawrence Dyer, and to have been called ** Rousewell House." 
This Lawrence Dver was the brother of Sir James Dyer, the 
eminent Judge. The house was much enlarged about the year 

Mr. George Cooper's in South Street, 

On the site of *• Temple Court." 
The present house is modem, having been built by its 
late owner and occupier, Mr. Edward Yalden Cooper, in 1836. 
When Mr. Cooper purchased it in 1833, it consisted of several 
tenements, occupied by Miss Jane Gatehouse, Mrs. Ring, 
Mrs. Harwood, Mr. Charles Melhuish, Mr. James Horton^ 
Mr. John Marsh Long, and Mrs. Yeo. 

In the time of Queen Elizabeth, the property belonged 
to the Plympton family, afterwards to the Churcheys, who 
owned so much property in the parish. In 1652, Anne, 
daughter of Thomas Churchey, was united in marriage with 
Thomas Strode, of Maperton House. They had a daughter, 
Anne, who was married to Philip Bennett, solicitor ot 
Wincanton, at the end of 1677, ^^^ ^ ^^ mansion where the 
present house stands they lived. Mr. Bennett, for many years, 
was clerk of the peace for the county of Somerset. He lived 


Local BviLDiMi^d op Imtbrbst. 

to a good old age, d^ing in 1725, and bis wife died in 1735, as 
the tablet in the pansh church shows. On a large slab in one 
of the aisles the names of Chnrchey, Strode, and Bennett 
appear. Sarah Bennett, their daughter, was a spinster. Stit 
succeeded her mother, and in making her will in 1775, gave 
"All that her capital messuage or Mansion House, &c., &c.," 
to her cousin, Anthony Barlton, a condition being that he 
assume the name of Bennett, to which he did not object. Part 
of the Churchey property came to Mr. Bennett, including tiie 
late Mr. Crew's farm ; a large field adjoining the £Einn house 
stilL bears his name. There are some interesting fragments 
of the old mansion still in existence, an old sundial and a 
shield carved in oak, dated 1682. After the house had been 
built ready for occupation, it was burnt to the ground, nothing 
being left but the cellar stairs. Meantime, Mr. Cooper 
remained at Ireson House, where he had been for some time 
residing. After his father's death the present owner bought it* 

The Town Hall and Marht Housi. 

The Town Hall and its accessories have not« Hke 
Teimyson's brooks flowed "on and on for ever." The hall did 
not come till it was called for, and that was not until about 150. . 
years ago. Previously, such public meetings as were held took 
place at one or other of the hotels, taking them in turn. Thece 
were "Assembly Rooms" at the Greyhound, Swan^ and White 
Horse. Magisterial work was done either at Bruton or at the 
houses of the magistrates, and in those days several miles' 
journey had to be made before^ J. P. could be found. Vestry 
meetings were either held at the long rOom of the workhouse 
in Silver Street, at other times in the church, sometimes on 
working days, at others on Sundays. 

There was at an earlier date a market house of some soft, 
the position of which I cannot fix with any exactitude, certainly 
not where the present one is. I am told that it was not in the 
" Shambells," but above, near to the present public buildings. 
This oldbuilding was, in 1748, in a dilapidated state, and was 
then put in repair. In 1767, it was in "a ruinous condition," 
when, with the idea of "making work," a mob collected and 
dragged it down. It was not re-erected, as there was no 
pioney to be had to build another anywhere else. Light* 
hearted a business as this was for the mob, it was a serious 
matter for the trustees of those days. The following notice 
was issued, of which the original draft is still in existence^ — 

"Whereas some malicious person or persons did on 
Wednesday the fourth day of November last, scHne time in the • 


Local Buildings op Intbrbst. 

night time, wilfully and maliciously pull down and destroy 
part of the Markett House, situate in and belonging to the 
town of Wincanton in the county of Somerset. Now we 
whose names are hereimto subscribed, being the major part of 
the Feoffees of and belonging to the Markett, do hereby 
resolve and agree to punish with the utmost vigour, the person 
or persons concerned in pulling down the said Markett House. 
As witness our hands this igth December, 1767. 

John Brickenden. Wm. Way. 

if oulton Messiter. Natl. Webb. 

Robert Perfect. Richard Lewis. 

Simon Webb. T. Brickenden." 

John Deane. 
For two years there was no Market House. Where the 
present buildings are were some old tenements almost, if not 
quite, untenantable. They belonged to the Trustees of the 
church charities. An arrangement was made between the 
different sets of Trustees by which £^ per annum could be 
secured in perpetuity for the church. In consequence of this 
these cottages were taken down, and the new market house, 
with the town hall over it, erected in 1769, at a cost of ;^40o. 
The accounts show us who the parties were who did the work. 
Amongst the items are — 

William Godfrey, for the freestone and the ) 

working thereof / 

Edward Walter, tiler 

Edward and Moses Walter, plasterers 

Mr. Goodfellow, oak for roof, laths and nails 

Mr. Deane, for carriage 

Mr. Ivie, carpenter 

Tames Andrews, plumber 

Thomas Pomroy, mason 

William Helliar, for bricks 

Mr Ivie, sashes, sash frames, and other work 
Mr. Goodfellow, for boards and nails, &c. 
Mr. Harvey, for damage in "Fidlers Hays" ) 
by forming roof ... . ... j 

Mr. Oatley, for painting vanes 

Ditto, for gilding and painting the market ) 

house clock , j 

Mr. Gapper, for bricks 

Jerome Sloe, for quarrying in Mr. Gapper's > 

quarry the stone for the market house / 

Mr. Deane, for carriage of stone from Keinton \ 

for the market house j 


£ s. 


28 4 


6 7 

12 18 


46 18 


21 19 


31 10 


20 10 

29 8 


8 8 

12 6 





I 5 

2 6 


3 17 




Local Buildings of Interest. 

That hall when first built was practically as some of us 
remember it 50 years ago, but it was di£ferent from what it was 
at the time of tne fire, for in 1867 ^^ ^^ ^^^^^ greatly enlarged 
at a cost of ;f 800. For the sake of the younger readers I will 
tell how the premises appeared before this enlargement. 

The hall was about half its present size. The head was 
on the South, towards Mr. Hannam's, and the entrance at the 
North end. To enter it, it was necessary to ^o into the 
market house, turn to the right and go up the stairs. There 
was no other entrance or exit, and was therefore a " parlous " 
place if a fire had broken out. There was a small ante-room 
on the West side. There was a fireplace at the South end, 
over which himg the oil painting of Judge Dier. There were 
two sets of rails across the head of the hall ; the inner division 
being for the magistrates, the outer for prisoneis and witnesses. 
Outside was the division for the public. The ceiling was flat, 
and about 10 feet firom the floor. Underneath was the market 
house with three open arcades, in which there were four 
standings for butchers, with scales and beams for their joint 
use, and for outsiders also on payment of a small fee. On the 
West side, down a step or two, was a miserable room about 7 
or 8 feet square, used as a lock-up, and incongruously called 
" Roundhouse," or more fittingly " blind-house," as its only 
light was through a grill in the door about 6 or 7 inches square. 
There was no attempt made to keep it wholesome, and the 
only bedding was a heap of straw. Into this hole two or more 
prisoners were put and kept day after day, with rats for 
company. More than one poor wretch has died there. I 
remember two such cases. This state of things continued 
until the police station was built in the year i860. What was 
done with the prisoners during temporary incarceration before 
1791, I cannot say. In that year the blind-house and stair- 
case were built at a cost of ;f 137-18-7. Outside by the hall 
door was a conduit, the reservoir being under the floor. The 
supply was from ** Conduit Hill," bat it was very intermittent. 
When the water was scarce, fighting for preference was often 
resorted to. A more unsafe place, when the footway was one 
block of ice, it is difficult to imagine. This lasted till 1848, 
when a new stone pump and lamp post were erected in the 
Shambles at a cost of ;f 56-8-4, of which sum the Feofiees paid 
;f 40, the Water Co. the remainder. This pump was t^en 
away at the end of 1879. To return to the hall. In 1867, 
the town hall was enlarged at a cost of ;f 800. The whole of 
this was never paid ofi". About midnight on the 9th August, 
1877, the whole was destroyed by fire. The damage to the 


Local Building:^ op Intbrbst. 

property was estimated at ;^i6oo. 

The New Hall was opened in October, 1878. At this 
time the road was widened about 8 feet, and the new tower 
erected. Concerts were held on two nights, when ;f 27-6-8 
was cleared. What with ;^8oo insurance, ;^400 subscriptions, 
and in other ways, the whole sum was paid off. (Since then, 
in 1893, the market hall has been made and the whole enclosed.) 
Here the Petty Sessions and County Courts are held, and the 
whole is available to all comers at moderate rates. It would 
be much better if the building could be lenghtened about ten 
feet either way, but this cannot be done, and, if it could, there 
are no funds to do it. 

The Carmelite Friary. 

(Specially contributed.) 

"The Order of Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel, which 
first settled in England about Christmas, 1241, remained 
practically unknown in Somerset until the time of Charles L 
On the 14th of June, 1341, Edward HI. granted a licence for 
mortmain to Walter de Meriet, to hand over to the Provincial 
of the Carmelites (John Polested) nine acres of meadow at 
Taunton to build thereon a church in honour of the Virgin 
Mary, as weD as houses for the habitation of a prior and some 
friars of the said Order. For some reason which has not come 
down to us this foundation did not take place, or, if it did, it 
disappeared in a short time. The bishops of Bath and Wells 
ordained from time to time members of the Order, but these 
belonged mostly to the convent at Bristol, though some of 
them may have been natives of the county of Somerset. 

Early in the seventeenth century the Discalced Carmelites, 
a branch of the same Order, founded by S. Teresa, made their 
way to England, to minister the consolations of religion to the 
Catholics scattered up and down the country. One of them, 
John Rudgeley, better known as Father John Baptist of Mount 
Carmel (1587-1669), lived for several years before and during 
the Civil war, at Wells, where he was assisted by Fr. Eliseus 
of S. Michael (William Pendryck), and since it is recorded 
that they did not restrict their labours to the town of Wells, 
but went about from place to place, it is not improbable that 
they also frequently visited Wincanton. Be that as it may, 
the time had not yet come when they could think of a 
permanent residence. 

The foundation of the stately Carmelite priory belongs to 
a more recent period. One of the residents of Wincanton, 


Local Buildings op iMTBUBst. 

Mr. Thomas Clementina, who* being an Italian by birth, was 
of course a Roman Catholic by baptism, placed a room of 
his house in North Street at the disposal of Father Cotham> 
the then priest of Bonham. For a time the few Catholics of 
the neighbourhood assembled there for worship on Sundays. 
In due course Fr. Cotham called a meeting of the principal 
members of his small congregation, namely, Mr. Clementina, 
and Mr. John Bradney of Ba3rford, and the resolution was 
passed that Acorn House in South Street, then for sale, 
should be acquired and transformed into a chapel and presby* 
tery. Mr. Clementina contributed no less than five hundred 
pounds to this end, while Mr. Bradney and Father Cotham 
subscribed one hundred pounds each. The purchase was 
negotiated through the manager of Stuckey's Bank, Mr. F. 
T. Fowler, and its object, hitherto kept secret, having become 
public property, a perfect storm of indignation burst over the 
heads of the Committee, which found a safety-valve in letters 
to a local newspaper. 

The Committee were able to proceed to the solemn 
inauguration of the new mission which took place on the 
tSth of October, x88i, the feast of St. Luke, who is still con^ 
sidered the patron saint of the chapel. The Right Rev. 
Abbot F. A. Gasquet, then Prior of Downside, sang the 
Mass ; Rev. Father (now Rt. Rev. Abbot) Ford presided at 
the organ ; some members of the Benedictine monastery of 
Downside formed the choir ; and among the congregation 
were many neighbouring priests and laymen. Fr. Cotham 
having been obliged by ill -health to resign his chaplaincy at 
Bonham, the bishop of Clifton appointed Rev. Father Walsh 
to the mission at Wincanton. At first he had to cope with 
considerable difficulty, as a number of residents continued 
to resent the establishment of a Roman Catholic place of 
worship, so much so that Fox's Book of Martyrs was distrib'^ 
uted at the Protestant Church Sunday School as an antidote 
against "Popery." After his departure in the following 
summer, the Benedictines of Downside and the Franciscans 
of Clevedon undertook the pastorate, until, towards the end 
of 1882, the Discalced Carmelites of Kensington took charge 
of it. They added to the chapel and built a new wing in 
connection with Acorn House, so that early in 1885, a Priory 
with the full observance of the monastic Rule could be 

It soon became obvious that the old house was both 
unhealthy and inconvenient, and in 1888 the present stately 
building was erected by the Rev. Father (now Very Rev. 


Local Buildings op Intbrbst. 

Canod) Scoles of Bridgwater, the builder being Mr. Kitch 
of Bridgwater. The work was begun on the 7th of May, 
i8S8. The foundation stone was laid on the i6th of July, 
and on the i8th of August, 1889, after having been thrown 
open to the public for some days, the new monastery was 
jsolemnly blessed by His Lordship the Hon. and Rt. Rev. 
Bishop Clifford. Unfortunately the funds in hand did not 
aUow the simultaneous construction of a new church which 
18 urgently needed. 

The following is the list of the Priors : — 

1885-1888.— Very Rev. Fr. M. E. Badger. 

1888-1891.— Very Rev. Fr. J. D. Ostendi. 

1891 •1894. — Very Rev. Fr. Sebastian Colin. 

1894-1897.— Very Rev. Fr. M. E. Badger. 

1897-1900.— Very Rev. Fr. Augustine Fatcher. 

1900-1903. — ^Very Rev. Fr. M. E. Badger. 
In connection with the mission a small school was 
opened in Commerce House, Market Placet in 1884, and 
transferred in the following year to Rock Hill. In August, 
1891, it was handed over to the Ursuline nuns from Swansedf 
who arrived on the nth of August. From November, 1897, 
till March, 1900, it occupied Tout Hill House, but finally 
returned to North Street.** 

(Rev.) B. Zimmerman. 

On December 29th, 1902, this establishment was ordered 
to be made a training place for Novitiates. 

''Lattifovd Housed 

One and a half miles from Wincanton, between the roads 
leading to Hoi ton on the right and Cheriton on the left. 
The name Lotterford is very ancient. The manor with 
other manors belonged in 1327 to De Hammindo filio 
Richardi. The Lotter feeds the ancient mill, at which point 
probably, when the name was given, the stream had to be 
forded. The manor house is now occupied by Mrs. Warren* 
Formerly, the ruins of an old chapel were pointed out to the 
visitor. The present mansion has, with the lands belonging 
thereto, been acquired by purchase by Captain Hardy from 
the executors of the late Rev. Samuel Dendy. 

The nucleus of the present building was erected in the 
yeiar 1800, but it was a modest dwelling compared with the 
present mansion. The stables and garden were near the 
mill, where also the coachroad was entered, and the house 
was approached between rows of elms. 


Local Buildings op Intbrbst. 

About the year 1850, Mr. George Singer effected great 
changes by enlarging the house, taking down the old stables 
and erecting new ones where they now are. He made a new 
coachroad and put up the lodge. He had a beautiful oak gate 
made, costing 100 guineas, on the centre of which his arms 
were carved, afterwards erected at Wyke House, Gillingham. 
Mr. Singer left after only a few years of occupation. 

The late Rev. S. Dendy purchased the estate and again 
enlarged the house, built a new mill house and cottages, and 
a new farmhouse at Old Barn farm and made a new road 
to it. Since Mr. Dendy's death the mansion has been 
destroyed by fire, and now Captain Hardy has built a more 
commodious house, which in an ordinary way may be expected 
to last for many generations. 

**Suddon Grange:' 

This old manor house, some portion of which has 
probably stood for three centuries, has more history connected 
with it than any other in the parish. I can give only a brief 
description of its occupiers here, having more fully dealt with 
it in the Eleventh Annual Report of the Wincanton Field 
Club. The name is an old one. In 1227, it was held by 
Richard de Mucegros. In 1345, Richard Chambemoun was 
born there, and baptised in the parish church of St. Peter 
and Paul, Wincanton. In 1570, it passed by sale and purchase 
from the Zouch to the Dibben family. At or soon after that 
time, John Ewens, who was granted arms in 1578, lived here, 
and in 1585 died here. In 1592, another John Ewens, son of 
the before mentioned, occupied the house. In 1623, John 
Ewens was still there. He had four sons, John aged 18, 
Edward — 14, Morrice (or Maurice) — 12, and Matthew— 9. 
This John, in 1653, was described as a •« Convict Papist," 
and was sequestered by the Parliamentary party, and went to 
Stavordale to live. In 1672, he is described on the register of 
the College of Heralds as of Suddon, and 67 years of age. His 
brother Maurice was a notable character, and will be referred 
to again. It may be well to remark here that the name of 
Evans and Ewens appear to have been used interchangeably^ 
In 1652, John Harvey was living there, as an old deed m 
existence shows. He died there in 1685, the same vear in 
which his son Richard had the honour of martyrdom bv 
Jefferies. Thomas Harvey, presumably brother of Richarot 
died at Suddon in 1698. In 1700, Thomas Gapper was 
living there. He digni^ed the house by calling it '* Suddon 
Court." He died in 1710, aged 45. Mr. Wm. Chaffey lived 


Local Buildings op iNTBRBst. 

there in 1765, and was followed by his son William in 1789. 
Robert Day, tenant farmer, entered about 17991 ^^^ "Re- 
mained till the end of 1804, when John Melhuish became 
tenant and left at Lady-Day^ 1812. Thomas Morrish followed 
and remained till 1818, when Wm. Dyke entered, and in 1843 
was succeeded by George Dyke, and in 1850 by Charles 
Dyke. In 1855, Daniel Orchard came and made many 
alterations in the house and outside. He left in 18^9* 
George Benjafield was the next tenant ; he kept possession 
until 1874. Walt^ Benjafield next entered and remained 
until i88o. From that date, S. U. Martin has been the 

*'Holbrook House;' 

ti miles from Wincanton. 

Although in the parish of Charlton Musgrove, it has 
been intimately connected with Wincanton for a very long 
period. As a rule the occupier has been a magistrate, and 
within reasonable distance of the town. The house as it is 
at present has but little to remind us of what it has been, 
not that any of the building has been demolished, but 
because it is now swollen out of its former proportions and 
its surroundings so changed. 

There is next to nothing of what may be called old in 
the house. The pigeon house gives an archaic and interesting 
appearance to the place. 

When we come, however, to the history of the families 
who have lived there, there is much more to be said. 

Here, however, the story must be brief, otherwise more 
space would be taken up than can be afforded, and the 
genealogy might to some readers prove rather dry. 

The Farewell Family held possession longer than any other. 

About 1530, Simon, son of Simon Farewell of Hill 
Bishop, appears to have married Dorothy Dyer of Roundhill, 
daughter of Richard D3rer, and sister of James Dyer, after- 
wards Lord Chief Justice of England. It is said that they 
came there to live so that the young wife might be near her 

In 1582, Judge Dyer refers in his will to his sister 
Dorothy's children, mentioning Mr, John Farewell, her eldest 
son, who married Ursula Phelips of Montacute, and who 
became eminent in the law. John died in 1616, and was 
succeeded by James, his eldest son, who married Elizabeth 
Johnson of South Petherton. 

In 1623, Mr. James Farewell and Nicholas Wafts are 


luOCAL Buildings of Imtbrbst« 

•mentioned in connection with Holbrook. Probably Mr. 
Farewell was following his profession in London, and Mr. 
Watts was at that time his tenant. The former died in 1636* 

In 1665, -^''' Thomas Farewell had been here for a 
considerable time, but he had died before 1687, and James 
his son was "reigning in his stead." 

In 1 70 1, Mr, Christopher Farewell was here. His name is 
fireqaently met with in Wincanton parish documents, 
i incline to the belief that he built the house as it stood 
before Mr. Barton enteted. 

He was Followed by Mr, NtUhanUl Farewell, and he in his 
turn by Rev, Samuel Farewell, incumbent of Wincanton, who 
in 1785 left Holbrook to live in Wincanton Parsonage, 
where he died in 1797. With him terminated the Farewell 
occupation, after 255 years without a break. 

Edward Philips '$Mcceeded Mr. Farewell, remaining but a 
very short time. 

William Fookes, Admiral of the Blue, s^ras next here, 
where he died ** after a long illness '* in 1798. 

Mr, R, Frankland came next. He was an active J.P. 
during the time of the French occupation of the town. One 
of his children died here and was buried in Charlton Musgrove 
churchyard, as a tombstone still shows. In 1808, a violent 
hailstorm occurred lieiie, when some of the haiktones were 
found to be 9f inches in circumf^ence. 

In 1824, Mrs, Mansel Pleydell was married from here to 
the Rev. Paul Leir of Charlton Mnsgrove. 

By 1830, it appears as if the whole of the property had 
passed from the Farewell family to Mr, Edttmrd Page, inasmuch 
as in a directory of that year the names of Edward Page and 
General Skrapnell, of ** Shrapnell shell " fame, appear under 
the heading of Holbrook. 

In 1834, ^^' Hifwry Hail was in residence here. He was 
Piaster of a pack of hounds. He left, I believe, in 1840 for 

In 184J, John Eveieigh Wyndham, who had marrkd Eliza- 
"beth Fitzgerald of Mapertcai House, came here to live. Here 
were born Thomas Heathcote Gerald Wyndham in October, 
1842, attid Etezibeth Geraldine Wyndham in 1844. 

In 1846, Mr, Charles Barton bought the estate of Robert 
Page. He greatly enlarged the house, built new stables, 
erected the lodge, and made many other structural alterations, 
coming here to live in 1848. At that time one of the work- 
men contributed to the history of the place by writing on a 
fsiecd of board, recently found, the following interesting 
memorandum. — 


Local BtiLDiwcs of Interest. 

** Wee are 7 Carpenters, about this house all frpm 
Cornwall and the builder and the architect from London, 
Plumber from Wincanton, his name is Francis, and Good- 
fellow the painter from Wincanton. Wee have had a verry 
dry job. No drink aloud, humbug and pirished. Velleijowett 
carpenter. This house was buUded by Thomas Way and 
the Archieker, J. P. St Amys (Anns or Agnes ?). Febujary 
2ist, 1848." 

After 55 years of active and useful life as 9 magistrate, 
guardian of the poor, and a country gentleman, Mr. Barton^ 
in February, 1901, sold the estate, including house and 340 
acres of land, to Mr John R, /. Angerstein^ who has practically 
re-built the house, is now living there, and taking an 
interest in the institutions of the neighborhood. 

Mr, Angerstein, who was educated at Christ church, 
Oxford, is a magistrate for the counties of Norfolk and 
Suiffolk, and is tihe second son of Mr. William Angerstein, of 
Weeting Hall, Norfolk, and Woodlands, Blackheath, who 
was the grandson of Mr. John Julius Angerstein, the famous 
collector and connoisseur, whose collection of paintings the 
government acquired as a nucleus for the formation of the 
National Gallery in 1824, and in whose house in Pall Mall 
they iwere first open to the public. 

''Hadspen Housed 

The seat of the Right Honorable Henry Hobhouse, 
M.P. for East Somerset. 

Four miles from Wincanton and two miles fcom Castle 
Gary, in the parish of Pitcombe. 

This jnansion is one of the most interesting in appearance 
in this neighborhood, and which, with its well kept gardens 
and grounds, is on certain days in the summer kindly thrown 
open to visitors by ticket. In addition to this, tea is provided 
at a nominal charge at one of the cottages. Sunday schools 
and <Dther institutions avail themselves of the privilege. 

Till the attainder of Edward Duke of Somerset m 1554, 
the estate beknged to the noble family of Somerset. At that 
time it was confiscated, but was afterwards restored. 

In 1676, it was conveyed to Trustees for sale, and in the 
year 1684 it was sold to Mr. Wm. Ettrick of the Middle Temple, 
and Mr. Wm. Player of Gray's Inn, London. 

In 1705, on the partition of the estates of these two 
gentlemen, lots were cast, when Hadspen fell to Mr. Pljiypr, 
who went there to reside. 

In X749, the^estate was bought by Vickriss Dictenson of 


Local Buildings of Interest. 

Bristol, who was a Quaker, and whose name is perpetuated 
at King Weston in this county. This Mr. Dickenson built 
the greater part of the mansion, including West, South, and 
East fronts. Some of the iron work still there was erected 
by him, and it bears the initials V.D. on it. The plate of the 
Sun Fire Office is dated 1749 ; Mr. Dickenson effected an 
insurance of the premises with that long established company. 
In 1778, Mr. Henry Hobhouse and Sarah his wife, then of 
Clifton, purchased the estate of Mr. Ford, of Bath, and went 
there to live. 

The Right Hon. Henry Hobhouse, who was under 
secretary of state in the WeUington administration, was bom 
at Clifton, but went to Hadspen with his faither and mother 
when two years of age. He became a privy counsellor in 
1828, and was keeper of the state papers. He was chairman 
of Quarter Sessions for the county of Somerset,and an active 
magistrate. He died on April 13th, 1854, and was buried in 
the parish church of Pitcombe. 

On July 13th, 1811, Mr. Henry Hobhouse, who became 
the chairman of the Wincanton bench of magistrates, was 
born here, as were also Edmund, Bishop Hobhouse, now 
living at Wells, and Arthur Lord Hobhouse, living in London, 
Regmald and two sisters deceased. Mr. Henry died on Feb. 
nth, 1862, and was buried at Pitcombe. 

The present owner, the Right Hon. Henry Hobhouse, 
succeeded his father, and though actively engaged in parlia- 
mentary life and county business, finds time to attend to local 
matters. It is a pleasant drive to Hadspen by way of 
Bratton, returning by the Shepton Montague road, or perhaps 
pleasanter still to return to Green Lane and drive home over 
Cattle Hill, via Shepton Montague. 

" Yarlington House." 
4 miles from Wincanton. The seat of T. £. Rogers, Esq., J.P. 

Is the chief residence in a quaint little village of about 
1200 acres, having a population of about 180 persons. It 
has the advantage of having had its history written (and two 
editions published in about 10 years) by its squire. The 
mansion was built by the grandfather of the present owner, 
after purchasing the estate in 1782, and has been retained in 
the same family ever since. 

It is now one of the prettiest villages in the neighborhood, 
and to be appreciated should be approached by way of 
Bratton, the return journey being by way of Maperton or 
vice versa. This will make a nice drive of about 9 miles. 


Local Buildings op Interest. 

The laying out of the house and grounds must have made* 
a very great change, for Mr. Rogers says in his book : — 
" The site (of the mansion) was a treeless plain or common 
of forty or fifty acres, on a nigh plateau, open to every blast, 
and quite unsheltered from the north-west winds which are 
most prevalent here." The church should be visited, if only 
for the sake of seeing how well an old church can be restored, 
for a sight of a fragment of apparently Saxon work in the 
interior of the tower, the ancient stone coffin in the church- 
yard wall, the remains of the old manor house, the old moat, 
and to hear the three sweet-toned bells. The rectory 
is a well built house in charming grounds. 

**RoundhiU Grangi." 

Two and a half mUes from Wincanton on the road to . 
Bruton, but nearer to the new road from Stony Stoke to Ball 
Common. It is now owned by Major General Ducat, 
Captain Yates being tenant. 

There is every probability that this is the place which 
was occupied by Waltero Roenhull in 1327, and from whom 
it derived its name, or he his name from the place. 

Phelps says, in his History of Somerset^ that Sir James 
Dier built the old mansion " about the times of James I." 
If this is to be taken as correct, considerable latitude must 
be given to the "about," inasmuch as Sir James died 21 
years before King James came to the throne. He also says 
that "A very small portion of this building was remaining in 
1832,'* when it was removed in order to make considerable 

This house and the manors of Roundhill and Barrow 
are associated with the family of the Diers, of which Sir 
James was the most distinguished member, of whom more 
will be said when we deal with the notable men of the parish. 

There is some difficulty in determining when the Diers 
first came here. It is said that Sir James was born here in 
1511-13, but if the word burgage is to be strictly limited to a 
holding in a borough, it looks doubtful, as Richard Dier, 
his father, in making his will in 1523, refers to '' the biurgage 
I dwell in " as being left to James. 

Phelps makes it still more confusing by saying that in 
1544 it was in the possession of John Dier, but afterwards the 
residence and estate of Richard Dier, whose younger son 
James was born there. Collinson says that it was m 1557 
that the crown sold the manor to John Dier at 30 years 
purchase, so that in 1523 it was not the property of Richard 


Local Buildwos op Intbrsst* 

Diet to give. In 155$, it was the property of John Dier, the 
elder brother of James, as the said John's will evidenced ; but 
I confess I see no proof that the family of the Diers were 
there, either as owners or tenants, before i557f nor do I find 
any proof of its being owned by Sir James, much less built 
by him. Some years ago, soifte workmen showed me a place, 
nearer by many yards to the Bruton road than the present house, 
where they said that the cellars of the old mansion had been- 
found. Richard Dier was buried at Wincanton in 1523.^ John 
Kved there in 1559, Laurence in 1578, John 1597, Henry 
Baynton 161 5, and probably till his death in 1643, Fraricis 
Baynton till 1647, Elizabeth, widow of Francis, 1651^ and 
James 1682. 

James Laurence Church ey, who was bom in 1668, appears 
to have been in possession in 1701. Phelps- says that he built 
the present mansion in that year. How he came into possess* 
ibn I cannot ascertain. At any rate, here he Uved till his 
death in 1716. It appears that he was unmarried. His will waar 
not proved till 1725. Nathaniel Webb of Bristol was his heir. 
He appears to have died between 1725, (when he was chnrch- 
warden,) atid 1735, when his widow was in possession at 

Another Nathaniel Wdbb was living there in 1765. He 
died in 1782, aged 60. Jane, his widow, died in 1792, aged 66. 
Still another Nathaniel succeeded. He, in 1894, married 
Mary Dalton, daughter of the Rev. John Dalton of Pitcombe,. 
not of Shanks, as Phelps says. She died in September, 1804, 
aged 49. He died on July 20th, 181 3, aged 66, without issue. 
His sister's eldest son, John Jekyll, Captain R.N., succeeded, 
Phelps says in 1820. It was immediately after his uncle's 
death, at any rate, inasmuch as in the Common Enclosure Act^ 
1813-14, John Jekyll is described as lord of the manor. 

In 1830, Captain Jekyll sold the property to George 
Wyndham, who went there at once to live. His wife died 
Ifhere in 1845, and himself in 1846, aged 81. He had three 
sbiis, George Dominions, Henry and Charles, (the latter was 
slain at Afghanistan in 1841, aged 34) and one daughter, Lucy 
Eliza, married to the Rev. Frederick Gray of Castle Cary. 

George and Henry lived there for some years, George first 
teaving, and then Henry, the latter making considerable alter- 
ations in laying out the grounds and building new stables. 

Since then there have been in succession — Mr. G. A. 
Brittain, in 1861 or 1862 to 1873 ; in June, 1873, Mr. Henry 
W3mdham returned but did not long remain ; Mrs. Kenworthy 
Brown ; Mrs. Breeds^ 1880-2 ; Cd. Hadow Jenkine, 18B3 ;. 

Local BtJi&DiNGS 07 iNrrB&ESTv 

T. M. Marriott, 1885-90 ; H; B. Festing ; Major General 
Ducat ; Mr. £. P. Conaixt ; Captain Yates, October^ 19^2. 

"^ChavUen Rectwy:* 

i\ miles from Wincanton. 

Rector — Rev. L. R. M. Ldr since 188&. The Rectwy- 
has been held by the same family copsecutively from 1617. 

The house stands in its own grounds and is a well-built 
mansion, erected, as the present rector, the Rev. L. R. M. 
Leir, informs us, by the Rev. Paul Leir at his own cost in- 
1805, about 300 yards from the old parsonage, which was then 
taken down. The best view of it is from the footpath frorae 
" Bayford White Horse " to Charlton Musgrove. To obtain a: 
nearer view, it should be approached from " Hunter's Lodge." 
Near by is a fine row of oaks, which were planted to replace 
another row destroyed by the tempest of 1703. 

There are two churches in the parish ; one, a new memorial 
church, built at the cost of Mrs. Davies, in memory of her 
husband, who was rector of the parish frpm 1864 to 1876. This 
is nearer the centre of the parish than the old parish clmrch» 
which wa3 built 1420-60. One of the bells is nearly 500 years 
ciJd« The registers date from 1534. 

''Redlynch House:' 

Four miles from Wincanton, one and a half from Bruton. 
A mansion in three parts. Built in 1672 on the site of an old 
chapel by Sir Stephen Fox. Now held by the fifth Earl of 
Ilchester. The estate has a wall round it 7 miles long. It is 
richly wooded, and includes a lake of i2 acres. There is a. 
good view of it from Bratton Hill, a nearer one from the road 
art Cuttlesham. Within the domain is a chapel built by. 
Nathaniel Iresom in 1750, and not far from it the manor house 1 
of Discove, in which Mr. Clarke at present resides. 

" Bayford Lodge." 

I mile from Wincajjtcm. 
Built about the year 1764 (by Mr. Jamea Burnett ?), For 
many years in the Messiter family. Has the reputation of 
being on the site of a Roman villa. Since the dealth of Uriah 
Messiter in 184B has been occupied by Captaip Fhelips, R.N.t 
Mr. J. P. Hayward, Mr. John Bradiiey, whp purchased th^ 
estate in 1671 and much enlarged it, aod several other ^milies^ 
Now oocupbd by Colonel MartsdL B#$ai)tifuUy wooded op the • 
South side, and with Cbarhon church in the background lopkg. 
very picturesque. 


Local Buildings op Interest. 

•« Comptou CastUr 

Five miles from Wincanton. One of the prettiest drives 
in the district. On the Sparkford road to Compton Bridge. 
Pause at G^mpton Church, which is well worthy of inspection. 
Note its graceful spire, its yew trees and stone cofEns. The 
coachroad to the castle leads between the castellated house 
and one of the finest lakes in the district, second only to that of 
Stourhead. The castle was built by Mr. Hussey Hunt about 
the year 1824. The drive back should be through Blackford, 
alighting at the church to see the Norman doorway and the 
m^evfd glass in the windows, through Maperton and Holton, 
where the main highway is reached, and so back to Wincanton« 
The castle has had manv occupants. Those longest in residence 
have been Sir Alexancler Hood and G)l. Wills- Sandford. It 
is now occupied by Captain M. S. Dawson. 

<< Maperton House.*' 

3I miles from Wincanton. 

Occupied since 1899 by Col. Ridley, J.P. Occupies no 
doubt the site of an ancient manor house from the 13th centurv. 

Gerald, writing about 1630, says of Maperton — ^^'A little 
obscure village, yet heretofore the capital or cheife manor of 
the Barony die Moels, more anciently Newmarch or Novo- 
mercato." About 1500, it belonged to John Lord Zouch, to 
whom so many manors in Somerset belonged. In 1626, Thomas 
Strode was bom there. He was a student of the Inner Temple 
in 1647. Iq 165^9 ^6 married Anne Churchey of Wincanton. 
He was buried at Maperton in 1697. His youngest child, 
Anne, was married in 1677 ^^ Philip Bennett of Wincanton, 
who was an eminent lawyer, whose son, Philip Bennett, and 
his wife both lived and died at Maperton. Collinson savs that 
there was a memorial stone in the floor of the chancel when 
he saw it, inscribed — *' Underneath lie Philip Bennett, Esq., 
and Jane his wife. As he was universally esteemed for his 
friendship, good nature, and honesty, she was no less remark- 
able for her beauty, virtue, good sense and piety. He died 
March 15th, 1722, aged 44. She died May 2nd, 1722, 
aged 50." The stone referred to, a few vears ago, with the 
inscription quite plain on it, paved the stOKehole of the heating 
apparatus. Such is human greatness ! A Philip Bennett 
was M.P. for Shaftesbury in 1738. Mr. D. Leigh was living 
here ini797, when he qmtted to live at New Park, Stavordale. 
In 1803, Mr. Thomas Southwood was owner, and Mr. 
Benjamin Woodward resided here. About this time, Colonel 


Local Buildings op Interest. 

Fitzgerald bought the estate and re-built the mansion. He 
died in Wales on 5th June, 1850, and was succeeded by 
Major Fitzgerald his son, a gentleman universally beloved. 
He died at Richmond on 25th M^, 1890, aged 70. Mrs. 
Fitzgerald pre-deceased Jiini in November, 1884. Major 
Fitzgerald sold the estate to Mr. Todd- Walton in October, 
1874, when great additions were made and alterations effected. 

teveral deaths in the Ssmiily occurred, and the family left, 
ince then several gentlemen have occupied the house, and the 
several £arms have been let. There is but little of the house 
to be seen, as the front faces its own grounds, which are 
picturesque with fine cedar and other trees. The entrance 
gate of iron is remarkable as being the work of an ordinary 
country blacksmith. 

**Moarkayes Manor House" 

Is situated a mile and a half from Wincanton, on the 
right on the way to Shepton Montague. When first built, it 
was more picturesque llian at present, the more modem 
building in tiie front having detracted much from its appearance. 

The house stands in the parish of Charlton Musgrove, to 
which parish also 120 acres of land belone;, and about 60 acres 
are in the parish of Wincanton. About the middle of 
the i6th century the estate was owned bv Jerome — or Jherom, 
Dibben — or Debien, who was a man of considerable import- 
ance. I fiind him here as early as II. Edward VI., 1549. He 
was a Roman Catholic, who refused to change his religion to 
adapt himself to the circumstances of the changing times, and 
for which he consequently suffered monetary loss. He had, 
in 1558, a small property in the borough of Wincanton. In 
1579, he became one of the Trustees of the Fairs and Markets, 
he being one of the grantees of the charter granted in that 
year for the first time. 

There appears to have been several of the name, inasmuch 
as in 1570, a Jerome Dibben purchased Suddon farm and part 
of the manor of Bratton Lynes adjoining. In 1583, 25th 
Elizabeth, he was prosecuted at the Wilts assizes for being in 
possession of papistical books in his house at Charlton 
Musgrove, for which he had to become bail, in himself for 
£100 and two others of £50 each. About 1578, he granted his 
interest in Bratton Lines to another Jerome Dibben of Wells, 
gentleman, presumably his son, from whom it passed to Jerome 
Abbott, and from him to John King of Pitcombe. Jerome 
was dead in 1623. 

Probably the manor house was built by Jerome the elder, 


Local. Buildikos of Ikterbst; 

some time before 1600. Theiurret staiccase in the house, is 
interesting. There was at one time a similar erne at SuddoBi 
Grange^ but of the latter there is at present but Httle. traxnu 

In 1764^ it appears to have been occapsed by James Sly. 
In 1805, George Lapham was the occupier, the own^: bedng 
one of the Medlycott family. The Lapham family were a long 
time in possession. After them followed Mr. Burt)idge Sharps 
Mr. Hooper, Mr. Lemon, Mr. Brown, Mr* R. Sweetmaa, the 
present tenant being Mr. Bridle. It has been owned for many 
years by the Brine family, formerly of Wincanton, now of 

''Norwood Well House:' 

A mile from Wincanton, on the road to Cucklingtoni is a. 
ifarm house which attracts the attention of strangers, especially 
by a large ecclesiastical window in a burMhg now used as a 
stable, or for one of the purposes to which &n& buildings are 
put. The buildings one can see at a glance are modwn, by^ 
their having modem windows and doors aood slated roofed This 
is none other thain the house leH3nerly< known as ^' Horwood. 

It had its origin about a century ago, at a tinse when 
" every disease to which flesh is heir " was supposed to. have- 
its cure by the use of medicinal water, taken internally and 
applied externally. There were at that time two welk : one 
in a field, the other at Horwood Well House. In the latter 
were baths and other necessary arrangements' for the water 
cure. Good rooms were there for visitors desirous of beiaig 
cured of their maladies, and there was a ciiapel where the 
diseases of the soul received attention as well* It was the 
intention of the founders to make this Spa a rival of. the 
celebrated and long standing Siloam&of Bath and Cheltenham. 
For the accommodation of the patients a.Baoiking House was. 
built in a iield a short distance away. Indeed, it wasexpected 
that there would be such a boom in medicine that WincantOB 
would be celebrated throughout the kingdom. The water was 
analysed and found to contain similar constituents ta those of 
Cheltenham ; and to use the words of^ Phelps, one of the 
csounty historians, ** this place acquired a considerable celeb- 
rity." Phelps is wrong, however, in sa^ng that the wells 
weore discovered about 1810. They w«re m full use in 1:805 ;. 
for in a pamphlet issued in 1806 in London, respecting ^asa 
benefits of the waters, several testimonials are quoted,, dated 
1805 ; and at that time they were to be bought at the Hi^/ 
Road» Kiiightsbridge,.at 30/- per doTsesty also at Mr. Eord's» 

Local Buildings of IirrBnsr. 

Sackvilld Street, Piccadilly. The Bwak^ too, was open in Aprils 
i8o8r Note Now 1933 was issued on the 19th of that 
months It beasts a picture of the bank house. An antiquarian 
friend some years ago informed me that **Mrs. Qarke, too 
well known as connected with the Duke of Ycark, was 
concerned with the late Richard Messiter in a great speculation 
in attempting to establi^ this Spa. The property was pur- 
chased of a family named Faugoin, the last of whom died at 
Wolveartoa^ Zeals.*' In 1806, General Boye and General 
Rochambean were'on parole in Wincanton ; both of these meifc 
of valour testified to the benefits they derived from drinking 
these waters. The Rev. John Radford and many others 
testified to the excellent qualities of these waters ; but, alas I 
the Salisbury Jcurfkd <A 5th February, 1810, tells us that '< The 
Horwood Well Bank, opened about two years ago by Mr. 
Griffiths and the celebrated Mr. Donovan, has stopped pay- 
ment ; an event of no great importance, as there are few of 
their dotes in circulation," &c., &c« The same Journal in 1819 
advertised "Horwood Spa to be sold, Richard Messiter a 
bankrupt^ application to be made to Felix Fatigoin," so that it 
seems to have reverted to its former owners. Probably Mr. 
Faugoin held the mortgage upon it. Phelps, about 1839, says^ 
"A pump-room, lodging house, and suitable accommodation for 
visitors were built at considerable expense. Its Spa was for a 
time frequented ; it, however, lost its attraction, and the spec- 
ulation wholly failed. The buildings remain, converted into a 
farmhouse and offices. The pomproom, pump and apparatus 
still remain, and the water is occasionally made use of 

The occupiers of the house since have included Mr. Wm. 
Linton, Mr. Davis, Mr. Goddard, Mr. MuUins, Mr. Sadler^ 
Mr. Wm. George, Mr. Dowding, Mr. Longman, Mrs. Hutton, 
and is at present owned and occupied by Mr. Forshaw. 

The use of the waters has, however, practically gone out 
for half a century. 

*^ Shanks House,*' Cucklington, 

Cucklington, of which Shanks is one of the manors, from 
the year 1304 had a licensed market on every Tuesday, and a 
nine days fair commencing every All Saints day. It formed a 
part of the barony of Henty L'Orti. Phelps said of it — "The 
mansion stands* at ttie foot of the slope of a hiii, surrounded 
by grounds well studded with timber, having a park-like 
appearance." The house is of very irregular shape, some 
portions being medieval, the front apparently of about the 


Local Buildings of Interest. 

1 8th century. There are some excellent rooms in it, and it 
was put well in order during the residence of the late Dalton 
Francis Grant Dalton, J. P., and has been well kept since its 
occupation by Mr. A. £. Sutton. In 1577, it appears to have 
been owned or occupied by Mr. William Dirdoe. In 1622, 
Hugh Watts in his will mentions *^ My house called Shanks." 
It remained in the possession of the Watts famUy for a long 
time. In 1682, Hugh Watts, gent, was fined £5 ^^^ burying 
his wife in linen instead of woollen as the law then demanded. 
In 1728, a Mr. Hugh Watts was also buried in linen, for which 
offence Mrs. Grace Watts, his widow, was fined fifty shillings, 
which was paid towards the assistance of the poor of the parish. 
Nicholas Watts succeeded his fether Hugh. In 1716, his 
wife Ruth died, and he followed her on November 14th, 1729, 
aged 51. 

In the year 1674, Nathaniel Dalton was presented by Sir 
Hugh Wyndham to the rectory of CuckUngton, and married 
Mary, daughter of Hugh Watts, by whom in course of time 
the property came into the Dalton family. The Rev. John 
Dalton and John Dalton, Esq., appear to have together held 
the property for many years. In 1789, another Nathaniel 
Dalton was in possession. He died in 1825. In 1810, Mary 
Slade Dalton, married Robert Foster Grant, Esq., of Ingolds- 
thorpe Hall, Norfolk, and came into possession at Nathaniel's 
death. An elaborate pedigree of the Dalton family was 
erected in CuckUngton church in 1819 by Elizabeth Dalton of 
Lattiford House at a cost of ;^20o. This is now in the vestry. 
For some time Lord Weymouth was tenant of the mansion 
about 1839. The late Dalton Foster Grant Dalton, J.P., came 
into residence about i860, where he died on April 15th, 1890, 
aged 78. There are some very fine oaks near the house, and a 
fine lake formed about the year 1838. This is not a show 
place, but it is one of the mansions eveiv one wishing for a 
knowledge of the neighborhood ought to know. 



The first reference I can find to a bank in Wincanton is 
in 1801. It was kept by a Mr. D. Paine where Mr. Cash's 
office now is. 

By April, 1808, there had arisen another, called Horwood 
Well Bank, the banking house being in a field now bek>nging, 
I believe, to Snag Farm. Many years ago, the house was 
taken down and removed to build part of the house where Mr. 
Clementina now lives, during Mr. Wm. Sly*s residence there. 
The bankers were Messrs. Edmund Grimth, Donovan & Co. 
They became bankrupt in 1 8 1 o. Apparently the same company 
had another branch in the town at the same time, called the 
Wincanton bank. 

In the year 1810, Whitmarsh & Co. had a bank here. In 
that year it was ^d that the bank was robbed of /i 881 in 
notes of that bank. In 1811, Messrs. Garrett & Musgrave 
had a bank where Mr. Clifford Hinks* outfitting shop now is. 
In 1823, Messrs. Musgrave & Garrett carried on the Wincanton 
and Somerset bank, which became bankrupt in 1827. In 
1830, there were two banks here, namely, those of Messrs. 
Uriah & George Messiter, and Messrs. Whitmarsh & White. 
In addition to which was a Savings Bank, of which John 
Randall was actuary. Stuckey's Banking Company was 
founded in 1826, and they opened a branch here on ist 
September, 1835. 

At this time, Musgrave & Garrett's bank was closed,|only 
Messiters' and Stuckey's banks survived. Stuckey's took a 
lease for three lives on the new house which had been built in 
1824 at a cost of ;^5oo by Mr. Barrett, and in 1844, Messiters' 
bank business was transferred to Stuckey's. Mr, Fowler has 
been manager since 31st August, 1872. 

The Wilts and Dorset Bank, which was founded in 1835, 
for many years had a flourishing branch at Gillingham. On 
the nth January, 1865, this Company opened an agency here 
under the branch at Gillingham, and in 1877, it assumed the 
dignity of a branch. It has had several managers. The 
present manager, Mr. Spencer, has held his office since 
January, 1897. 


Notable Men of the Parish. 

^o\ab\e ?C\en oj \\ve ^amVv. 

It would be unreasonable to expect that so suxall a town, 
with so insignificant a population, should produce a large 
number of men and women distinguished in the ranks of art, 
literature, or science. Wincanton need not, however, 
be ashamed of its sons, for many of them have filled useful 
portions and obtained notice in that noble work, the 
"Dictionary of National Biography." It has been found 
necessary, after writing at some length on several natives of 
the town, to condense to a very great extent what has been 
written, and even to entirely exclude others from notice. 
With this apology, the following sketches are given to the 

Maurice EwenSf alias Newport, 

Biographies of him appear in the Bibliographical Diction- 
ary of the English Catholics, Vol. II., 1885, and in the 
Dictionary of National Biography. In the former, he is said 
to have been bom in Dorsetshire in 161 1 ; and in the latter, 
his birthplace is given as in Somerset in the same year. 

Mr. Jewers, in Vol. 36 of the Somerset Archaeological 
Society Proceedings, shows that Maurice was the son of John 
Ewens of Suddon, Wincanton, and of Elizabeth his wife, 
formerly Elizabeth Keynes of Compton Pauncefote ; but he 
evidently errs in saying that he was married, and the father of 
Richard Ewens, saddler, of Wincanton. It was the third John 
Ewens at Suddon who married Miss Keynes. It is well known 
that the Ewens farnily were staunch Roman Catholics. This 
third John in 1631 was fined £10 in default of attending the 
coronation of Charles I. 

I quote from the Dictionary of English Catholics, 
omitting only the long titles of his books. — 

"Ewens, Maurice, Father S.J., alias Keynes and 
Newport, born in Dorsetshire in 161 1, was son of John Ewens 
and his wife Elizabeth, a member of the old Catholic family 
of Keynes of Somersetshire, where he was brought up. After 
making his humanity studies at St. Omer's College, he entered 
the EngHsh College, Rome, October i8th, 1628, and was 
ordained priest there Nov. 30th, 1634. M® ^^^^ t^® college for 
Belgium in the following April in order to join the Society of 


NorrABLE Men oi^ the Parisr. 

T«stis> iwtuch he did Bt Watten, when he assumed the name of 
Newport, by which he was afterwards known. After a course 
of teaching in all the classes at St. Omer's College, he was 
seirt in 1:644 to the English mission in the Hamp^ire district. 
In 1648, he removed to the Devonshire district, and in 1651*2 
to the Oxford district. In 1653, he went to the London 
district, of which he was made sector in 1666. Here he 
remained until the outbreak of Oates' plot in 1678-9. In this 
{lersecutton he was hotly pursued, and only succeeded in 
efifecting his escape to Belgium with great difficulty. In 
ii679*8o, he was in the college of Ghent, and from 1683-5, ^^ 
Li^ge College as spiritual Father. After the fury of the storm 
had subsided he returned to London, where he died Dec. 4th, 
i'687, aged 76." 

After giving the authcnities for the above, the article 
states that a book of Latm poems, dedicated to King Charles II., 
was published by him in Londcm. 3 v<Hs., 1665 ; 2nd ed., 
1669 ; 3id ed., 1676. An interesting note is added, showing 
that in the possession of Lofd Arundell, of Wardour, is a 
M.S/fiigna3 Maurice Newport, 1671. 

He published another book in 1677. A third he published 
in Paris in 1654. " ^ golden oenser full with the precious 
incense of the prayers of the saints" is also ascribed to him. 
It is dedicated ^* To the High and Mighty Princesee Henrietta 
Marki, Daughter of England.*" 

It may be wcorth consideration whether there was or not 
any connection between Maurice Ewens and John Gawen, who 
was a Jesuit, and who was hanged at Tyburn in 1679 at the 
age of 39. 

Nicholas Gawen was curate here 1635 to 1640, but was 
not buried here. John Gawen went to St. Omer*s and after- 
wards to Watten, as did Ewens, and his after life was of the 
same pattern as that of Ewens. He came of a Wiltshire 
famify, and quite possibly the families were acquainted* But 
this is only a suggestion. Salts cum grano. 

Nathaniel Ireson 

Has been called an architect, but we look for more 
culture in that class of men than the composition of his will 
betokens. He called himself a master mason, and no doubt 
^bat is the better description. He worked in stone of various 
sorts, and in plaster, as will .be noticed later on. There are 
many incidents in his life left on record, showing the activity 
of the .man, far more, indeed, than that of any local man of 
his day ; but unless they are summarised they will occupy 


Notable Men op the Parish. 

more space than can be used, unless the account of him be 
out of all proportion with other Wincanton worthies we shall 

I find documentary evidence of the following events in 
his life, but I can give only the barest outlines of them which 
will no doubt be sufficient for the general reader. He was 
bom in 1686, probably in the neighborhood of Nuneaton, but 
I cannot trace his baptism, his marriage, nor his wife's 
maiden name. That he married earl^ is certain, inasmuch as 
in the parish church at Stourton is this inscription on a marble 
tablet — ** Near this place is interred Mary, eldest daughter oif 
Nathaniel and Maiy Ireson, bom at Ladbrook in the county 
of Warwick, died November 29th, in the i^th year of her age, 
A.D. 1723, who erected this in memory of their child, A.D. 
1724.'*' This makes him 24 at her birth. He appears to have 
settled in Stourton in 1720 or 172 1, when he built the mansion 
from the designs of Colin Campbell. He was churchwarden 
there soon after his arrival, as the tablet on the north clerestoiv 
wall ^ows. The inscription thereon reads — '*This church 
was newly paved and seated and beautified i72f. Nathh 
Ireson, John Butcher, Churchwardens." 

In 1724, Martha, his daughter and heiress, was bom, 
apparently at Wincanton. After enjoying her property for 
many years, she died unmarried in 1797, aged 73 years. 

In 1725, he had his portrait painted in oils. This is still 
in the family, as is that of Mary his wife. The latter was 
painted in 1745. There are three tablets in Gillingham church, 
which appear to be his work, dated respectively 1728, 1733, 
and 1735. He had opened a quarry on his estate in 173^1 
there being an item of £^ odd for stones from this quarry m 
the Feoffees' accounts. In 1735, he joined in an application 
to the Bishop of the diocese to grant a faculty to enable the 
parishioners to restore the parish church. In 1737, he had 
commenced work as a potter ; pieces of his work still exists 
bearing dates 1737, 1738, 1739, and 1740. In 1736, his name 
appears on the parish rate books for Windmill estate. In 
1744, he drew plans for the restoration of Frome church. 
His plan was not accepted, but the churchwardens paid him 
for it as the account books of that church show. 

In 1745) his name appears again as a ratepayer. In 1748, 
he built the new chancel of the church at his own expense. 
In 1749, he was churchwarden, which office he retained one 
year only. In the same year he was a member of a local 
association for prosecution in cases of felony. In 1750, he 
appears to have erected the Goddard tablet in Gillingham 


Portrait of Sir James Dier. 

Born at Roundhill Grange, Wincanton, in 1512. 

(From an Oil Painting in the possession 0/ Canon C. H. Mayo, of Long-Burton.) 

Notable Men of the Parish. 

church. In 1751, he was overseer of the parish of Wincanton. 
In 1757, his grand-daughter, Nancy Kettermaster, was born. 
In 1765, he was made a Feoffee of the Fairs and Markets 
Trust. In the same year he made his will. It could have 
been nothing but a compliment to put him into office as he 
was then 79 years of age. He died on April i8th, 1769, at 
the ripe age of 83. His wife survived him three years, dying 
in 1772 at the still more mature age of 85. 

As a builder and sculptor he left many specimens of his 
work behind him. Amongst them — Stourhead Mansion ; 
Blandford S. Mary church ; Wincanton church and chancel ; 
the White Horse ; Rodber House, ; Hillside House ; 
Ireson House ; Redlynch Chapel ; the chancel of Bruton 
church ; his own statue ; tablets in Gillingham, Wincanton, 
Stourton, Brewham, Hornblotton, and other churches ; 
alterations at the old portions of the Monastic buildings, 
Balsam House, The Dogs, and many other houses in the 
town and neighborhood. 

It is probable, however, that he will be best remembered 
as a potter. For many years he carried on a pottery at 
Ireson House. Specimens are to be found all round this 
district and beyond it, some of them in the British and 
other museums. One elaborate jug, kept in the family until 
recently, bearing his name, has fetched a high price, and 
others, also dated, are in the hands of local collectors. 
Connoisseurs are keen on this ware, especially the named 
and dated pieces. It is a delft with many colors, the pre- 
vailing color being a blue. On the back are wire marks and 
pin holes. Many of the smaller pieces are of a pink color. 
The exact spot where the clay was dug cannot now be 

He made a considerable amount of money which he lent 
to his neighbors at good interest, for it is evident that he 
knew how to look after his own profit ; indeed, he had to be 
checked by his brother trustees here, having tried to retain 
the holding of some property after the term of lives for which 
the said property was granted. He was a Freemason, as the 
emblems on his statue demonstrate. His name is still 
retained in Ireson House and Ireson monument. 

Sir Janus Diet of Roundhill. 

I, several years ago, in a pamphlet entitled " Wincaaiton's 
greatest son," told all I had then learnt of the biography of 
this eminent man. Since then, Sir James has had much 
attention paid him, so that it is only necessary for me to write 


l^TABEE MbN or TUB PAftlSrIl. 

of his connection with Wincanton. For fuller accounts of 
his life as a Judge, Speaker of the House of Commons, and 
as an eminent jurist, the reader is referred to " The Records 
of the Dyer Family," by Thomas Whittaker, New York* 
^884, "The Dictionary of National Biography," the Reports 
of the ** Somerset Archaeological Society/' and Campbell's 
*' Liyeaof the Judges." Besides these, are many intaresting 
notices and portraits, and there are pedigrees of the family 
Biore.or less perfect. The Rev, Canon Mayo is, I believe, 
Ihe authority on the genealogy of the family, and the ownei^ 
of probably the best existing painting of him. 

The name of Dyer is a very old one in the county, aa 
** Weaver's Somerset Incumbents " shows. 

The Rev. John Dyer, B.A., Oxford, 1457, was instituted 
to the rectory of High Ham on June 12th, 1459. He 
remained there till his death in 1499. During his residence 
there the church was built at the cost of Abbott Selwood, 
Lord Poulett and himself. In the church, which, is well 
worth a visit, is a record in stone, of the decease of this said 

When " Master /i>A« Dier" made his will,, a. short time 
before his death, he makes reference to incidents which throw 
Ught on the history of the family. He shows that his brothes 
Join was living at Wincanton, that Richard was a son of his 
brother John, that he himself had lands and tenements in 
title, borough of Wyncaunton^ and that he left, them to his 
nephew Richard. He appointed his brother John and his 
son Richard his executors. A few months later., namely* 
on 25th January, 150a, the Wincanton John made his will* 
^o doubt it was necessary so to do, in consequence of coming 
into his brother's property here. This will is very inteioesting 
from the names of places mentioned and for other reasons. 
Amongst other things he says — 

«* I John Vyning,. alias Dyer> of the parish of Vyncalton 
make my will in this manner. I bequeath my body to be 
buried in the churchyard of the church of the Blessed Peter 
and Paul of Wyncalton. I bequeath to the mother church 
of' W^Us 6/s. 8d. To Alexander my son all my tenement in 
which I now dwell, with the courtyard (curtilagio) adjacent 
in the town of Vylcalton between the tenement of John 
Petwyn on the east and the tenement or horse mill or ground 
(fundum) called " Vedelers Hey" on the west, to hold to him 
and his heirs ; and if he die without issue, the said tenement 
shall always remain to the next of blood, to wit, from the 
blood of the Vyning« I bequeath to Alexander my.,.s£UQU. a 

Notable Mcn of the Parish. 

messuage in the borough of Wyncalton called lee Yerne 
house^ situated between the burgage of Knoyle gentleman on 
the east and the tenement of Edward Hobbys on the west.*' 
''I bequeath to ^he shegyng (seating) of the church of 
Wyncalton" «*To the church stokke of Vyncalton. 3li," 
" To the edifying of the North yle of the same church 6o/s " 
'^Theie being witnesses Sir John Aynell my curate, John 
Abraham and William Webbe " &c. " To Richard my son 
40 li '* *' To John son of the same Richard 20 li and one 
silvier cup and a piesse.*' This Richard was the father,, and 
John was the elder brother of Sir James, who, however, was 
not born till twelve years later. I mention these matters, 
however, in detail, to show that at James' birth in 15 12 the 
family had long been settled here. 

It is noticeable that John Dier of High Ham refers to 
his brother John, which John in 1500 calls himself ''John 
Vyning alias Dyer." In 1540, in Richard Bekyns will, there 
is a reference to John Vyning alias Dyer. What is the 
meaning of this ? I venture on a solution which I hope is 
not all romance, and on which I invite discussion^ . My 
suggestion is, that — 

John Vyning of Wincanton, a man of respectable family, 
probably engaged in the law, married a daughter of Alexander 
Dyer of Bruton, and sister of John of High Ham, and that 
he took the name of his wife-s father — id est, John Dier. 

Richard Dyer was their son. Richard took a lease of 
Roundhill manor farm and went there to live. Several years 
after the birth of John Dyer, Sir James was born there, 
namely, in 151 2. Kichard Dyer died in 1523. In his will, 
dated just before his death, he wishes to be buried in 
Wincanton church by, that is near, his wife. He bequeaths. 
20/- to Wincanton church for his body " to lie in hit." He 
says, ** I woU that the will of my wife Johane be performed. 
My burgage that I dwell in to my son James and his heirs, 
my burgages in Wincanton to my eldest son John." He 
appoints his eldest sons John and John his executors ; Lord 
Chief Justice, John Fitzjames, and Lord Zouch overseers to 
his will. He says, " I will that I have penny dole at my 
burying." Judging by his will he was by no means a wealthy 
man. There is every probability that the future Sir James 
Dyer received his early education at Bruton, in the school 
founded in 15^9-20 by his father's friends, the brothers Fitz^ 
James. It is admitted that he afterwards went to Broadgates, 
Oxford, to New Inn, and then to the Middle Temple, London. 
At the age of 25, he is mentioned in his own '* Reports " as 

NoTABLB Men op the Parish. 

an advocate. In 1552, he became King's Sergeant. In the 
following year he was elected M.P. for Cambridgeshire, and 
in the last year of Edward VI., speaker of the house of Commons. 
He next became Recorder of Cambridge, and was knighted. 
In 1557, he was appointed Judge of Common Pleas, and in the 
next year to the King's Bench. He held his important 
position as Judge during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. 
In 1559, he was made Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas, 
where he remained till the end of his life. He married the 
widow of Sir Thomas Elyot and became a rich man. He died 
on 25th March, 1582, aged 71 years, and was buried in Great 
Staughton church. The monument in that church is a double 
one. There are two kneeling figures, namely, of Sir James 
and his wife, in one compartment. Sir James having on his 
robes ; in the other compartment are two other kneeling 
figures, namely, those of Sir Richard Dyer, Sir James* heir, 
and his wife. Every reference to him by his friends and 
relatives in this neighborhood shows that he was held in high 
esteem. There was an oil patinting of him in the Town Hall 
till the fire in 1877. By whom painted, who gave it to the 
town, or when, nobody knows. It could not have been there 
before 1769, because the hall was not built till that year, and 
it had no predecessor. I venture to suggest that it was at 
Roundhill or Holbrook till that time, when it was considered 
fitting to place the portrait of so eminent a lawyer, as an 
example (of one who ably and honestly administered the 
law) to those who later had to dispense justice there. If I am 
right in my guess, it would have been given by Nathaniel 
Webb of Roundhill, or one of the Farewells of Holbrook. 
Happily, a photograph of this painting had been taken, of 
which an enlargement was made at the cost of, and placed by, 
Mr. Rufus A'Barrow, in the present hall, that gentleman being 
of the same family as the wife of Sir James by her marriage 
with Sir Thomas Elyot. 

I am not aware if there are any of the present name in 
this county who claim descent from the family. There are 
those who put in the claim from other counties, but none who 
are so keen on this matter as our brethren across the Atlantic. 
There is nothing left of the mansion at Roundhill to remind 
us of Sir James or his family ; but the portrait in oils at Lx^ng- 
burton, and the statuary at Great Staughton, bring vividly 
before us, once again, the once familiar features of 
<* Wincanton's Greatest Son." 


Notable Men op the Parish. 

Richard Messtter, 

To write a history of the &mily to which he belonged 
would require a book as large as this one if no other subject 
was mentioned. It will be necdissary, notwithstanding, to refer 
to other members of the family to account for his position here 
and elsewhere. What has surprised me is the fact that so 
much has been said about his brother George and so little 
about him, inasmuch as at one time he must have completely 
overshadowed his younger and more fortunate brother. 

Before 1640, the ramily was at Christian Malford, but in 
or near that year they migrated to Maiden Bradley. In the 
churchyard of that village there are tombs to the memory of 
some of them. Uriah was a favourite christian name, there 
being several in the family. One of them married, first — 
Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Lambert, M.A., who died in 
1719* aged 23 ; secondly — Ann Husband, who was the mother 
of Moulton Messiter, the first of the family in Wincanton. 
Mouiton the younger was a solicitor, and apparently settled 
here after his marriage on June 27th, 1754. He married Mary, 
daughter of Richard Ring, solicitor, when he was 25 years of 
age, and his wife 18. The parish register informs us that 
they were married by license, by Rev. David Hopkins, "with 
the consent of her parents." Her father's practice was a good 
one, and to it on their marriage Mr. Messiter succeeded. They 
had 14 children, the two elder were girls, Richard being the 
eldest son. 

Moulton Messiter soon began to take a thorough interest 
in the town of his adoption. On Dec. 20th, 1756, be rented 
Coneygore of Mr. Tomas Clarke, surgeon, of Brewton ; and 
in 1762, he purchased several messuages in the High Street of 
William Clement and his wife, John Brickenden being the 
tenant. He purchased Coneygore in 1773, and probably 
" Mill Hams," two orchards, at the same time, the main road 
only dividing the property. There is a tradition that on 
obtaining possession of the property in High Street, Mr. 
Messiter built (I prefer saying r^-buili) his mansion and lived 
there, having as tenant of the house adjoining, a Captain 
Burford. The latter was afterwards re-built as a bank, and is 
now Mr. Cash's ofl&ce. In his will, dated 21st January, 1786, 
he leaves all his real and personal estate to his wife for her 
life, or as long as she remained unmarried, but his son Richard 
was to have residence in the house with his mother. At her 
decease, Richard was to have the whole of the property, 
excepting ;f 1000 which he was to pay to his brothers and 
sisters. Moulton Messiter had prospered in business. 


NoTABLB Men of the Parish. 

and become under sheriiF of the county of Somerset. He 
died on 5th July, 1786, at the age of 57. His wid6w outlived 
him many years, d3dng on the 19th May, 1803, aged 67 years. 

Richard Messiter was borA on the 24th September, 1759, 
and was brought up to the law. On the 20th February, 1794, 
he married Mary Brickell of Shaftesbury, and went there to 
live about three years later. He had three sons, all of whom 
died young in the lifetime of their mother, who died in June, 
181 2. At his father's death, when 27 years of age, he was 
left with a fomily of 13 brothers and sisters, to whom he 
fulfilled the duties of a father. He had many talents, was an 
excellent scholar, took high rank in his profession, and was 
universally beloved and respected". He succeeded to his 
father's omce as under sheriff, an office which they held for 
more than 30 years. He subsequently became Treasurer of 
the county of Somerset, which office was retained in the family 
until the death of Henry Messiter in 1879. He was conspic- 
uous for his loyalty. In the time of the war with America, he 
raised, clothed and armed, at his own expense, a company of 
Volunteer Infantry ; and later, during the French war, he 
organised and was captain of a troop of the East Somerset 
Yeomanry, until the peace of Amiens in 1802. It would be a 
long story to tell of the numerous schemes he promoted at 
home for the good of the neighborhood. The Act of Parlia^ 
ment before referred to, was evidently the product of his 
vigorous mind ; the making of good roads, all through the 
district of the Commissioners of Highways ; the establishment 
of Horwood Spa ; the formation of ^* An association for pre- 
serving liberty, property, and the constitution of Great Britain, 
against republicans and levellers" ; and the making of a 
navigable canal from Bath to Poole, by way of Frome, 
Wincanton and Wareham. Possessing an ardent mind he 
was of too speculative a disposition, which led him into diffi- 
culties« Having experienced a reverse of fortune, chiefly by 
electioneering at Shaftesbury, he became bankrupt and quitted 
England for America, settling down about 150 miles from 
New York. His brothers Uriah and George made him an 
allowance. He was in New York in 1830. He was ill whilst 
there. On his way home he became worse and put in at 
Newbury, 65 miles from New York, where he died on the 
zoth May, and there he was buried in the 71st year of his age. 

It was a common thing half a century ago to hear adverse 
criticism of his conduct from those who, if he had succeeded 
in all his undertakings, would have abjectly crouched to him, 
hut who fled when tnwjDle xame tin him. This comes out 



clear, on a careful consideration of the man's career, that he 
was a man of tare ability, a most earnest worker for the good 
of his native parish, a loyal citizen, and a thoroughly good 
son and brother. 

"Let him who would asssul thee,** Messiter, '*in thy 
grave, pause." 

James Walters (or Walter) 

Was bom in Mill Street, Wincanton, in the year 1797. 
He belonged to an old Wincanton family. Moses and Edward, 
probably his grandfather and uncle respectively, tiled and 
plastered the Town Hall in 1769 ; and John his ^ther, whose 
name is mentioned as living in Mill Street in 1801, built and 
owned the two tenements east of Mr. George Stagg's. There 
James was bom, and went to school two or three doors below 
to. a simple-minded unlearned schoolmaster, named NehemiaJi 
Thomas. He learnt his father's trade, and went to London to 
exerdseiit. In the year 1834, he returned to Wincanton to 
superintend the building of die houses in High Street now 
occupied by Mr. K Miller and Mr. £. J. New. 

In the year 1838, he was librarian to the Episcopal bishop 
attached to the British Embassy at Paris. In that year he 
published a little volume of poems in English, which he 
dedicated to Lady Fullerton. It is evident that he w»s 
stricken very badly with revolutionary ideas of that country 
and period. The poem "Benhadad" proclaims this. The 
dedication is in these lines — 

** Accept, fair noble lady, of the land 
Where I was born, and hope in £ame to stand. 
These prolix lines, from holy writ drawn forth, 
That read a lesson to the guilty North :— 
Where the rude tyrant, throned in polar snows, 
The scourge of Poland, works Circassia's woes ; 
As cool as Caucasus in planning crimes— 
The fierce Benhadad of our modem times ; 
Whose brutal serfs affright the Southern day, 
Alarm the West, and think the East their prey. 
Despoiling nations and destro3ring right, 
Expelling order and creating night — 
Night, black and horrid, such as veiled the sphere. 
Ere Godhead deigned the sleeping mass to cheer." 
His rhetoric is passionate, as evidently his nature was 
impetuous. He said that "The 20th chapter of I. Kings 
should be translated into every language and didlect, the 
dramatic «tory is a flower of loveliness. Those ^vho hove 


Notable Men op tUb^'arish. 

imagination may sit down and feast their mind's eye with one 
of the most magnificent martial processions ideality or reality 
can furnish forth.*' His poem on Benhadad ends — 
" Rejoice with Samaria I This lesson divine 
Is a legacy left for the last of our line. 
Can you read it, earth's children, and not understand 
That your God fights for freedom in every land." 
He wrote, also, a set of poems on the months of the year, 
in which it is clearly shown that he possessed to a large extent 
the poetic faculty. At 50 years of age he returned to his 
native town, a broken down man in health and finances. 

He gave Shakesperian Readings on "The grave, thegay, 
the lively and severe." His fiieuds eked out a few shillings to 
him, and in November, 1847, lie went into the Workhouse, 
where he remained ten weeks. His friends then found him 
money enough to return to Paris, where it is supposed that in 
the revolution of 1848 he perished. Though it is evident 
that he lacked perseverance, and apparently lived too fast, yet 
he made such proficience in literature as to cause us to regret 
that he did not live up to the full extent of his powers. 

George Deane, D.Sc. 

Came of an old and respected family in Wincanton. His 
uncle Edwin was the founder of the very successful drapery 
business now represented by Messrs. New and Morgan. His 
father was in business in the city of Wells, but left there when 
his distinguished son was young, to join his brothers Edwin 
and Charles in the South Street business. Edwin died in 
1852, when the business was sold. George continued to live 
lower down in South Street, and died there in 1859, aged 59. 

Young George was educated at Mr. Alfred Day's school 
in High Street, a tutor to whom many elderly men in various 
parts of the world look back in memory with esteem. He then 
went for three years in the ofl&ce of a civil engineer. 
Exhibiting tendencies towards theology, he entered as a 
student in Lady Huntingdon's College at Cheshunt When 
about 23 years of age, he became niinister of a Congregational 
church in Bedfordshire, In 1863, ^® attained to a brilliant 
B.A. of the London University. In 1864, he took the degree 
of B.S., and in 1869 he became Doctor of Science. In the 
same year he was appointed professor of mathematics at 
Spring Hill College, and after that he moved to the chair of 
Hebrew and Old Testament exegesis. In 1877, ^® became 
resident tutor of Spring Hill College. He was by no means 
a man of one idea or of one pursuits From 1870 to 1874, ^^ 


Notable Men op the Parish. 

was teacher of geology at the Birmingham and Midland 
Institute, axld some of us remember his lecture on ** Water 
and Waterspouts," given for the Wincanton Field Club at 
the end of 1889. 

Geology was his special science, and he greatly desired to 
see its study in all the public and private schools of the 
country. Nor was he a student merely ; he was a member 
and elected chairman of Moseley and Balsall Heath school 
board in 1875. He was also a frequent contributor to "The 
British Quarterly," "TheHomilist," " Evangelical Magazine," 
and he wrote for " Cassell's Biblical Educator." He continued 
to work during a long period of ill-health, and died at 
Edgbaston, Birmingham, on July 6th, 1891, at the compar- 
atively early age of 53. Although a strong liberal in politics, 
and a member of the Somerset Association, he joined the 
Liberal-Unionist section when the great division was caused 
in the liberal party by the introduction of Home Rule. He 
was a considerable land-owner at Wincanton, Charlton 
Musgrove, and North Cadbury. 

Philip Bennett. 

At the west end, on the south side of the parish church, 
is the oldest memorial tablet. In the old church it occupied a 
position very near to that of the present. It now requires 
such restoration as could be accomplished at but little cost. 
It is a black monument bearing arms in colours and the 
following inscription. — 

*' In memoriam. Phi. Bennett. Ar. qui officii clici pacis 
com Somersett, per multos annos, diligent et studiose perigit. 
Obiit 7® Aprilis 1725 iEtat suae 87® 

Per mortem direm dolore quisque perit 
• Perfidem verum gaudio quisque sperat 
Post mortem coela semper habitare 
Cum Sanctis Deo laudem ibidare. 
In memoriam. Anne uxor Phillippi Bennett armig. quoe 
obiit I amp die Decembris Anno Dom 1730 iEtat suae 78* " 
The epitaph has been translated, viz. — 

** Each one must pass through death's dark door 
Through faith to joy for evermore 
Death past, in heaven to ever live 
There with the saints God praise to give." 
Mrs. Bennett, his wife, was daughter and heiress to one 
of the wealthy Churchey family, and brought considerable 
property to her husband when he married her in 1677. ^^ 
owned about 170 acres of land in Wincanton, 70 acres in 


Notable iMcn op thb Parish* 

CucklingtOD, and 76 acres at Motcombe. He was a man 
who took great interest in the town, and in the year 1707, 
when the great fire caused so much disaster, was treasurer 
of the relief fund, when ;f636 was raised by subscription 
towards the loss of ;^2,9oo which that fire occasioned. He 
was the means of a Royal Commission being held at IlnuD^er 
in the year 1704, by which some abuses which had crept into 
the local government of the town were removed ; .to his 
personal supervision improvement was mainly due. His 
man^cxi was where Mr. George Cooper's house now stands* 
Kone of his descendants have at present any interest in the 
parish. His name, however, iis retained in a field name at 
the south-west end of the town on Mr. Collard's bim.- 

Thomas RicJtards, 

The son of James and Maria Richards, was like his more 
distinguished fellow townsman Sir James Dier, bom at 
Roundhill in this parish ; not at RoundhiU Grange, however, 
but at RoundhiU farm-house, of which at present not a 
vestige remains. The date of his birth was October 26th, 
1812. The rudiments of his education were acquired at a 
school kept by a Mr. Galiiene, where Mrs. Shepherd's printing 
office now stands. From there he went to a school :at 
Milborne Port, kept by a Mr. Shapcott At that time he 
grew so tall, and his health was so delicate, that his life was 
despaired of. It was a wonder that he did not die, for b^re 
he was 15 years of age he had be^i bled twenty times. 
Whilst on a visit to some friends at Bridghampton, he was 
running across a field when he fell, and, spraining one of his 
ankles, had for several years to use a crutch and a stick. On 
being taken to a London physician he strongly advised ampu- 
tation, but this neither his parents or family doctor w^ld 
agree to. Becoming stronger he went into the field :to work. 
One day he was loading a cart with manure, when he threw 
away the shovel and declared he would never use it again, 
and to this resolution he adhered. He Mras then apprenticed 
for three years to Mr. Stokes, grocer, of Salisbury. In his 
25th year he married his first cousin. Miss Jane Gifford of 
Butleigh, and although it was a marriage of affection on both 
sides lasting till death, yet he urged on his young friends with 
great earnestness never to marry such close relatives,, as being 
perilous to their offispring if it was their misfortune to have any. 

Mr. Richards ought to have been an architect ; for that 
he was well adapted, and in the preparation of plans he took 
the greate&t delight of his life. At his. marriage in 1837, he 


Notable Men op the Parish. 

eommezrced budness as a grocer where Mr. Harvey Blake 
lives. After a while Mr. George Crocker, who had an iron- 
mongery business where Mr. Shewen*s shop is, changed shops 
with Mr. Richards, each one's stock being removed. Later 
en, Mr. Crocker left the town, when Mr. Richards purchased 
Mr. Crocket's stock of ironmongery, which hereafter was sold 
from one counter, and grocery from another. Dual businesses 
were common in country towns at that time. In 1841, he 
attended the parish vestry meeting for the first time. Thence- 
forward for 50 years he took an active part in the public 
business of the parish. In 1842 he became overseer, and 
served for two years. In 1869 he became churchwarden, 
which office he also held for two years. He was elected 
guardian of the poor in 1866, remaining in that office till 
1887. In 1874, some of the ratepayers, thinking that he 
befriended the poor more than he studied the interests of the 
ratepayers, put forward some one in opposition. At the poll 
he polled 267 votes to his opponent's 181, the latter being 
mainly cumulative votes, many of the voters having five votes. 
To his influence and constant labours we owe our 
drainage system and water supply^ He took exceeding 
int^eat in elementary education, and ought to have been on 
the first schood board in 1871, and would have been but for an 
arrangement made to prevent " the expense of an election." 
Mr. Richards keenly felt this slight, and never s^ain offered 
hiniself for the office. He became one of the Feoffees of the 
Town Charities in July, 1878, and continued till his death, 
becoming chairman on the death of Mr. Herbert Messiter in 


At his golden wedding, April 3rd, 1887, ^ dinner was held 
to his honour at the Greyhound Hotel, when his 18 workmen 
presented him and Mrs. Richards with a handsome album 
containing all their portraits. 

Many public and other buildings in this neighborhood 
were designed bv him and built under his direction. He 
designed a circular cooking range, of which many hundreds 
were sold during his life time. He was a liberal in politics, 
broad church in religion. His portrait has been placed by 
his admiring townsmen in the Town Hall, the only otiier 
reaching to that dignity being Sir James Dier. *' He was a 
good man," and as long as remembered will be fragrant to the 
memory of those who knew him. 

George Croyden, 
On A column^ .separating the Northaisle of the choir. fcom 


Notable Men op the Parish. 

the Lady chapel in the cathedral church of Oxford, is the 
following inscription : — 

'' Sapientia Donum Dei 
H. s. J 
Georgius. Croyden LL.D. apud Wincaunton in agro 
Somersetensi natus in schola Wesmonasteriensi Institutus 
Alumnus Postea hujus Mdis et censor tandem canonicus et 
Thesaurius vir (si qui salius) humanitate, modestia 
Et erga pauperes beneficiantia, Insignis 
Qui obiit Oxonii Junii xiiii A.O. Dni MDLXXVIII iET. 
Suae LXIV. S.C.M.P." 

Wisdom is the gift of God. 
H(ic) S(epultus) J(acet) 
or Here lies buried 
George Croyden LL.D. born at Wincaunton in the county of 
Somerset, educated in Westminster school. 
Afterwards student and censor of this college, lastly canon 
and treasurer. A man singularly distinguished for kindliness, 
moderation, and liberality to the poor, who died at Oxford on 
the 14th of June in the year of our Lord 1578, and the 64th 
of his age. 

"S.C.M.P." is supposed to mean Sarah or Susanna 
Croyden ; Monumentum Posuite — caused this monument to 
be erected ? 

Another suggestion is that "S.C.M.P." meant Sui 
Curaveaunt Marmer Ponendum — His friends caused the 
monument to be erected. 

I have only to add that I have not met with the name of 
Croyden in Wincanton, but the Rev. L. R. Leir informs me 
that George Croyden, D.L., London, had in 1660 32 acres of 
land in the manor of Charlton Musgrove, and that " Croyden 
Parks " are mentioned in old deeds of that parish. 

John Ring, 

Who has found a place in the " Dictionary of National 
Biography,** was bom in Wincanton, and there he was 
baptised on 21st August, 1752. 

I first find the name of Richard Ring described as 
attorney, Wincanton, in the year 1739. As I write, I have 
his signature and seal before me on a document drawn up in 
1749. He was then well established as a solicitor, and from 
that date onward the name is frequently met with. There 
were at least three Richard Rings : one buried in 1794, 
another in 1838, and a third only a few years since. The one 
in practice in 1739 was probably a still earlier one than he 


Notable Mrn of the Parish. 

who died in 1794. I cannot connect the early members of 
the family here with any residence, excepting where the Roman 
Catholic church now is, and from there Richard was buried in 
1838. The last of the Richards left Wincanton about the 
year 1861. 

John Ring was, I presume, the son of Richard who died 
in 1794, and brother of Richard who died in 1838. The name 
Ring still lingers here in " Ring's drinking place." 

The Rings here intermarried with the Messiters and 
Carpenters, and with Birds of Sturminster, Everetts and 
Gatehouses. John Ring, Junr., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., died as 
recently as 28th November, 1890, at Kilbum. The article in 
the National Biography was contributed by D'Arcy Power, 
F.R.C.S., from which I have extracted the following : — 

John Ring of Wincanton, surgeon, 1 752-1 821. Bom at 
Wincanton. Entered Winchester College in 1765, and left it 
in 1767-8 for London, where he attended the lectures of 
Perceval Pott and the two Hunters. Received diploma of 
Surgeons' Company on ist September, 1774, ^^^ ^^ ^^^ same 
year began practice in London. He became about this time 
a member of the Medical Society of London, afterwards a 
member of the Medical Society of Paris. In August, 1799, 
he became acquainted with Dr. Edward Jenner. From this 
time he devoted the greater part of his professional life to the 
cause of vaccination. In 1808, he went to Ringwood at the 
head of a deputation to investigate some supposed failures of 
vaccination. Party feeling at that time ran so high that the 
deputies carried pistols to defend themselves in case of need. 
The British Vaccine Establishment was founded in 1809, Dr. 
Jenner being the first director. He nominated Ring as his 
principal vaccinator and inspector of stations. On being set 
aside from this, he opened a vaccination station on his own 
account. He vaccinated so many that Jenner, speaking of a 
lady who had vaccinated as many as ten thousand persons, 
said that it was nothing compared with the labours of honest 
John Ring. 

He was also a poet and an elegant classical scholar. He 
died of apoplexy at ais house in New Street, Hanover Square, 
London, on 7th December, 1821. 

Besides tracts on vaccination, he wrote — ^The commemor- 
ation of Handel, 1786 ; 2nd ed. in 1819 ; Reflections on the 
Surgeons' Bill, 1798 ; A Treatise on Cow Pox, 1801 ; The 
beauties of the Edinburgh Review, 1807 ; A Treatise on 
Gout, 181 1 ; A caution against vaccine swindlers, 1 81 6. He 
translated Gedde's Ode to Peace, 1802. 


Notable Men op the Parish. 

In 1820, he published the works of Virgil, partly originair 
and partly altered from Dryden and Pitt ; a vols. This latter 
was published by subscription. Amongst the subscribers it isf 
pleasant to note the names of several of his Wincanton 
friends, such as Robert Combe, Esq., Uriah Messiter, T. L« 
Surrage, Robert Combe, junr», George Messiter, Philip 
Hurd, Dr. John and Dr, Wm. Perfect, who had remotoa 
from Wincanton to Bath. 

The article informs us that a portrait of the subject 
appeared in the New European Maganne^ 1824, and that 
additional information had been contributed by the late 
Rev. CoUn Grant-Daiton. 

George Day 

Claims notice from the fact that be was the founder of 
the Baptist church in this town. 

He was bom in Wincanton in the year 1787, and 
received an elementary education at the school of Nehemiali 
Thomas. He became a plasterer and tiler, and worked at 
FonthiU Abbey when Mr. Beckford lived there. Later, he 
kept a drapeiy establishment where Mr. £. Weare now lii^St 
which he resigned in favor of his son about the year 1844. 
After this, however, he took an interest in his old trade, and 
there are specimens of his skill in ceilings at Mn John Gibbs', 
Mr. Chichester's, the Baptist chapel and elsewhere* For 16 
years from 1829 he was the unpaid minister of the Baptist 
church. In his latter days he became blind,, when* he was 
compelled to resign his pastoral duties. He died on March 
loth, 185^, in his 71st year. In the year 1855, ^^ ^^e stroi^y 
expressed desire of his flock, he published- in twelve numbers 
*<The Wincanton Monthly Messenger.'* Amongst the latest 
of his efforts was one entitled — '* Set thy house m order," in 
which he showed that his " ruling love " was connected with 
the Sunday school for which he had for many years shewn 
a great affection. In contemplating his own aid, he wrote— 
'* This closing scene, dear teachers of the school^ 

I now present to you, beseeching you 

To make your calling and election sure ; 

And from the love of Christ constraining yoU| 

Be steadfast, constant, and immovable. 

The honour of your Lord be your first aim. 

The children's present and eternal weal 

Keep constantly in view, and at the throne 

Of heavenly grace go on to intercede 

For Jesus' sake, for blessings on your charge ; 


Notable Mteif of the PARtsH* 

That when God's voice shall say— < Thou too shalt die/ 
It may be your delight the voice to hear, 
And cheerfully reply — " Lord, here am I, 
And all the children thou hast given me." 

John Lan^y. 

In the early part of 1874, some correspondent sent me 
tiie following excerpt. Since then I have had it sent me 
several times. It may be worth a place in this history, if 
only as a curiosity. So far I have not found in any local 
document' the name of either Langley or Kendrick. Every 
place has its odd characters, and if this be veritable history, 
It is clear that Wincanton has had at least one. 

Mr. John Langley, born an Englishman who settled in 
keland, where he died, left the following will. 

^* I John Langley, bom at Wincanton, in Somerset, and 
settled in Ireland, in the year 165 1 now in my right mind 
and wits, do make my will, in my own hand writing. 

I do leave all my house, goods and farm of Black Kittle 
of 253 acres to my son, commonly called Stubborn Jack to 
him and his heirs for ever, provided he marries a. Protestant 
woman, but not* Alice Kendtick, who called roe Oliver's 
whelp. My new buckskin breeches, and my silver tobacco 
stopper with J.L. on the top, I give to Richard Richards, my 
comrade, who helped me off at the storming of- ClonmelU 
when I was shot through the leg. My son John shall keep 
my body above ground six days and six nights after I am 
dead, and Grace Kendrick shsill lay me out, who shall have 
for doing so five shillings. My bodv shall be put upon the 
oak table in the brown room, and fifty Irishmen shall be 
invited to my wake, and every one shall have two quarts of 
the best aqua vite^ and. each one a skereen didbi and knife 
laid before him and when the liquor is out, nail, up my coffin 
and commit me to the earth whence I came. This is my 
will. Witness my hand this third day of March, 1674. 

John Langley." 

Some of Mr. Langley's friends asked him why he would 
be at such expense in treating the Irishmen whom he hated ; 
he replied that if they got drunk at his wake, they would 
probably get to fighting and kill one another, which would do 
something towards lessening the breed. 

John Roskmge Wood^ 
President of the Baptist Union of England and Wales, 

Notable Men op the Parish. 

1902-3, is a native of Wincanton. His father, F. R. Wood, 
was master of the British school here in the late years of 
1830, and the early years of 1840 onwards. The school was 
held in the school-rooms at the Baptist chapel. John was 
born in 1838 in the old turnpike house, High Street, where 
Mr. Tanswell now lives. In or about 1843 the school was 
given up, the National school having been recently built, and 
the fees fixed as low as a penny per week. Mr. Wood 
removed with his father and mother to Ridge, Wiltshire, 
where this family started and sustained a Nonconformist 
place of worship. Mr. F. R. Wood died at Ridge at the age 
of 84. 

Young John helped his father in the Sunday school at 
Ridge, and early developed a taste for preaching. He learnt, 
however, the drapery business, and followed it till 1859, in 
which year he entered as a student for the ministr^r at 
Regent's Park College. In March, 1863, he was ordained 
minister of a Baptist church at Barnstaple. In 1867, on the 
death of the Rev. Evan Probert, a man well remembered as 
"the children's preacher," Mr. Wood became pastor of the 
City Road Baptist Church, Bristol, and remained there seven 
years. In 1874, t^^ Baptist church of Upper HoUoway, 
London, was without a minister. Mr. Wood was invited, 
and he accepted the invitation to become the pastor. On 
his entry there, there were 217 members, the congregation 
about 500. In 1881, the church was enlarged so as to 
accommodate ^bout 1300 persons, and there are nearly 900 
members. Very recently he gave an account of his year's 
presidency, and this showed a year's useful work in the 
pulpit and elsewhere. 

Over three thousand members have been admitted to the 
church at Upper Holloway during Mr. Wood's 29 years 
pastorate. Mr. Wood is a methodical and healthy man, and 
it may be hoped has many years of active service before him. 

Edward Deanesly. 

Son of Samuel Deanesly. Bom at Wincanton on Jan. 
23rd, 1866. Pupil at Mr. Perman*s school at Pine House, 
Wincanton. Entered Bruton Grammar School in 1878, left 
in 1881. Obtained M.B. in 1887 with first class honours ; 
M.R.C.S. and M.D., London, in 1888 ; F.R.C.S. in 1890. 
Gold medallist at University College and Apothecaries' Hall, 
London. Honorary Surgeon to the General Hospital, 


Notable Men of the Parish. 

Charles Fletcher. 

The following sketch is taken from •* Bournemouth and 
Boscombe Amusements " of March 25th, 1895. The article 
has been much shortened. No alterations are made excepting 
to remark that £50 per annum was a large salary for the 
organist to receive at Shepton Montague church, where, in 
1 861, the vicar's income was only ;^62 per annum without a 
residence, and where even now its gross value is but ;f 98. 

The sketch in the paper referred to was accompanied by 
a portrait. 

**Mr. Fletcher was born at Wincanton, in Somersetshire, 
in 1846, his father being a schoolmaster and a musical 
enthusiast. His mother also came of a musical family, being 
a cousin of the late Charles Lucas, who for many years was 
the leading violoncellist in London, and director of the Royal 
Academy of Music, so that from both his parents he has 
inherited musical talent of a high order. 

At the early age of five years he was a member of his 
father's singing classes, and became thoroughl}' grounded in 
the rudiments and theory of music and singing by Wilhelm, 
introduced from Germany into this country by HuUah. 
Before he was seven years of age, scarcely any passage of 
music seemed too difficult for him to vocalize at first sight, 
and he was often called upon to illustrate alone, by vocalizing 
and beating the time, any passage which presented 
exceptional difficulties. 

At the age of seven he came out as a solo singer and 
flautist at a concert given by his father in his native town, 
and when only nine years old was engaged to play the 
harmonium, and to take the soprano solos at the parish 
Church of Shepton Montague, at a salary of ^50 per annum, 
which appointment he held for about eighteen months. The 
violin, which he had also been studying since he was seven 
years of age, now came to the fore. Wherever he played, 
the greatest surprise and enthusiasm were evoked, and his 
father decided to give up his school, in order to devote his 
life to the development of his son's musical talent and 
general education. 

The young musician's violin playing was only equalled, 
and perhaps excelled, by his wonderful voice and singing. 
The late Lord Arundel, of Wardour Castle (himself a remark- 
ably clever and devoted amateur musician), hearing of the 
boy's fame, engaged him as solo vocalist and violinist for his 
private chapel and chamber music. Here * Master Charlie,' 
as he was familiarly called, became a great favorite and 


Notable Men op the Parish^ 

igained much notoriety among the nobility and gentry, who 
from time to time were visitors at W ardour Castle. This 
appointment he held for about three years, when his beautiful 
voice showing signs of change, he temporarily relinquished 
singing and settled in Southampton. Here, after some 
uphill struggles, he became the leading violinist. 

He has performed on various occasions at the St. James' 
Hall and most of the principal public rooms in London, and 
has also bad the honour of playing before the Prince and 
Princess of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of 
Connaught, the late Prince Leopold, and other members of 
the Royal Family, both at public and private concerts. 

In 1869 he married a talented German pianiste, whom 
he often met at the house of one of his greatest patronesses 
(the late Countess of Ranfurly), where she was professionally 

Bournemouth, his favourite town, has long been the most 
absorbing field for his untiring energies in teaching and 
performing. We congratulate Bournemouth and neighbour- 
hood on having such a talented musician in their midst. 

Notwithstanding incessant teaching and numerous en- 
gagements, Mr. Fletcher is ever ready to give his valued 
services in aid of the many local institutions and charities." 


The late Mr. Wm. Bidgood, of Taunton, published a 
book on the tokens of Somerset. Amongst them were four of 
Wincanton. They were about the size of a groat. Of those 
issued in the last century, (of which there were many,) no 
account is taken. 

O. William Ivy of Seven Stars. 

R. Wincalton, 1659. yj*^ E probably his wife. 

O. John Keves, in centre a squirrel. 
R. Of Wincanton. I.K. 161 1. 
O. Ben Lewes at ye Black Lion, -r 
R. In Wincanton. 1667. ^ ^ 
O. John Rogers mercer. * 

R. In Wincvlton. 1652. 
William Ivy was churchwarden in 1668. 
Ben Lewes „ „ 1667. 

John Rogers „ „ 1664. 

Association for Protbction against Fbjlony. 


It seems difficult to realize in these days of protection of 
Hfe and property afforded by an efficient county police, that 
within comparatively few years, if property was stolen or 
cattle injur€Kl, it paid better to let the criminal go free than 
to prosecute him ; yet so it was. The remedy was often 
worse than the disease. 

As some sort of protection in bygone days, associations 
were formed by which, on pa3rment of a certain sum per 
annum, in cases where m$mbers were robbed or otherwise 
injured, a solicitor prosecuted such offenders as could be 
detected ; but then many escaped detection. I purpose 
giving accounts of two such societies ; one in 1749, the other 
in 1768. The original documents are before me. In nearly 
every instance the signature is in the handwriting of the 
member, and in the first of the documents the name was not 
only written but the seal affixed. 

<< Whereas several fruit trees and other trees likely to 
become timber, and garden fruits have lately been secretly 
damaged and spoyled, digged up and carried awsiy, from 
many the possessors and owners of lands and tenements in 
the parish of Wincanton in the county of Somerset. And 
whereas several larcenys and felonious acts have been lately 
done and committed within the said parish, and the cattle 
within the said parish have been injured by cutting their 
manes and tails or such like offences have been often 
committed to the great damage of many the inhabitants, of 
the which crimes and offences have been so cunningly and 
secretly contrived, and acted, and managed in so clandestine 
a manner that the offenders, notwithstanding great diligence 
have not been discovered, and others have secretly com- 
pounded larcenys and felonys to save the expense of prose- 
cution. Now to the end that all such offenders as are guilty, 
or shall hereafter become guilty of such or like offences 
(within the said parish) may be discovered, apprehended and 
brought to justice. 

It is by these presents witnessed, that we whose names, 
marks and seals are hereunto sett and subscribed do for our- 
selves our several and respective heirs executors and adminis- 


Association for Protection againsst Felony. 

trators mutually covenant, promise grant and agree to and 
with each other, by these presents, to pay, bear and discharge 
our respective and proportionable shares of all manner of costs 
charges and disbursements whatsoever, which shall be ex- 
pended or laid out by us, any or either of us, in discovering, 
apprehending bringing to justice, committing prosecuting and 
punishing any such offender or offenders aforesaid against any 
or either of us, in such manner as the law permits and directs, 
(share and share alike.) And for the better enforcing and 
carrying this agreement into execution. We do for that purpose 
constitute ordain and appoint Mr. Richard Ring of Wincanton 
aforesaid, our attorney from time to time for and during the 
space of seven years next ensuing to prosecute such offenders 
against us, or either of us as often as there shall be occasion. 
In witness whereof we have hereunto set bur hands and seals 
this thirteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one 
thousand seven hundred and forty nine. 

William Jewell 
Wm. Winter 
John Rogers 
Thomas Perry 
Andrew Ivie 
Joseph Vining 
Richard Edwards 
Timothy Taylor 
Nath. Ireson 
Jno. Webb 
William Oatley 
John King 
] bhn Guyer 
Richard Andrews 
Robert Gapper 
John Mansfield 
Tho. Harris 
Moses Walter 
John Pike 
John Cross 
William Hussey 
Geo. Deane 
Robt. Wadman 
Wm. Way 
John Brickenden 
Charles Ivie 
}Nm. Mogg 
Josh. Vining 

ohn Hurd 
' ^obt. Pearce 

ohn Richardson 
^no. Dove 
' ^obt. Perfect 
Cha. Lewis 
Richd. Ring 
P. Smith 
Tho. Slade 
Richard Sympson 
John Norman 
Simon Webb 
Thomas White 

!ohn Andrews 
oseph Parsons 
ohn Parsons 
Ldward Matthews 
iohn Horler 
^obt. Combe 
Mary Kite 

iohn Mitchell 
^hilip Pitman 
Peter Dove 
Henry Plucknett 
Richd. Lewis 
John Pitman 
John Hurman 
Samuel Horler 


Association for Protection against Felony. 

ioseph Clewett Charles Creed 

!*ho. Goodfellow Thomas Coombes 

Nich. Brown Stephen Pitman." 

Apparently nineteen years passed away before another 
form was drawn up and signed for the same purpose. Some 
of the same names re-appear, several of them being the 
same persons who signed the earlier document. Several new 
names also appear, but there is a great falling off the total 
number, there being 62 signatures in 1749, but 40 only in 
1768. The document, too, is less stately and formidable 
than the earlier one. It says — 

" Whereas divers Robberys, Burglary's Felonys and 
other misdemeanors and offences have been lately done and 
committed in and near the town of Wincanton in the Qounty 
of Somerset t. And whereas some of the offenders have 
been discovered and committed to prison and others are fled 
from justice but prosecutions are commenced against them. 
Now we whose names are hereunto subscribed, do hereby 
mutually promise and agree to and with each other that we 
and each and every of us shall and will pay, bear and 
discharge an equal proportion of all such sum or sums of 
money, costs, charges and expences which already have been 
or which shall or may be paid, laid out or expended by us or 
any or either of us in the apprehending prosecuting or con- 
victing such offender or offenders from the first day of 
January one thousand seven hundred and sixty eight to the 
nrst day of January one thousand seven hundred and sixty 

Robt. Gapper 
Robt. Wadman 
Robt. Perfect 
Richd. Lewis 
Isaiah Farrington 
John Mitchell 
John Harris 
Jno. Pitman 
William Harvey 
John Parsons 
Thos. Slade 
Joseph Parsons 
John Deane 
Nat. Webb 

Joseph Clewett 
John Mitchell 
Stephen Pittman 
Richd. Andrews 
Jane Lewis 
Wm. Way 
Edward Goddard 
John Leach 
Philip Pittman 
Thos. Hussey 
Robt. Combe 
Tames Kiddle 
John Hurd 

Wm. Winter 
John Guyer 
Nich. Brown 
Thos. Brickenden 
John Brown 
Moulton Messiter 
W. Bracher, junr. 
Thomas Goodfello>v: 
Andrew I vie 
Elizth. Dove 
Mar. Burges 
Edward Pearce 
Willm. Chaffey." 


WfNCAitTotJ Town I^ioperties. 

Wincanton Town Properties. 

These are three ib number. First — ^the property held in 
trust for the separation of the chtirck ; second — that held 
in trust for the poor ; third — a piece of land acquired and 
certain dues conferred by Royal Charter, held for the town 
and managed by a set of Trustees, first appointed by the 
Crown in 1579^ and renewed from time to time since. 

These three properties, small as they are, were formerly 
managed by three sets of Trustees. In the year 1823, on 
the re-appointment of the Trustees, the control of the three 
properties was held by one set of Trustees, sixteen in 
number. It was then entered on the journal that *' All the 
three properties being now Tested in the same Trustees, it i^ 
recommended in future appointments* to follow the same 
plan, as more likely to engage the attention of one set of 
Trustees than of more, but the accounts are to be kept 
distinct and monies appropriated accordingly." This plan 
has from that time been followed. I have never seen any 
accounts of the church property or the poor's charity before 
that time, but those of the Fairs and Markets are complete 
back to the year 1705, when a new book was begun, in which 
to enter the subscriptions towards the Fire fund which the 
Trustees of the Fairs and Markets administered. It has 
often been said that the charities of the town have been 
impoverished by the loss of houses and lands, but I can find 
no proof of this.^ It is true there were houses and lands 
held by former Trustees which are not now held, but in each 
case the houses have fallen into ruin for lack of funds to 
keep them in repair, and the pieces of land have been 
sold to purchase others. At the present day the property 
held by the Trustees is of more value than at any previous 
time of which we have any record. The Fairs ami Markets 
Trust is the only one impoverished, and that has arisen firom 
the diversion of these institutions in the streets to fields 
elsewhere, and by the inevitable freedom of commerce 
brought about by railways and other intercommunication. 
To expect a return to the old regime is as hopeless as 
flogging a dead horse into activity, or of mopping back the 
incoming tide. 

It may be desirable to state just what the properties and 
charities comprised on 13th November, 1823. 


WiNCANTOM Town Properties. 

^^ Fairs a$td MarJ^ts, viz. — 

The tolls of the markets and two Fairs now let to Francis 
Parsons at the (annual) rent of ;^2o. 

The Town Hall» blind-house, &c., subject to the annual 
rent of £s ^o ^^^ Trustees of the Church Lands. 

An adlotment at Batchpool now let to John Bewsey at a 
rent of £S. 

Of the above, the rents have been hitherto received by 
Messrs. Messiter, and applied in repairs of the Town Hall, 
Blind-house, Market Shambles and standings, Town Clock, 
Conduits, reservoirs and lead pipes, fire engine and lamps, 
Insurance of buildings, &c., as per account on which there is 
due to them ;^26-9-ii} to Sep. 30th, 1823. 

Church Lands, comprising — 

A house held by T. Bracher for two lives, Mrs. Goldes- 
borough and Richard Lewis. Ditto held by R. Combe, 
occupied by S. Carter, for two lives, R. Combe and R. Perfect. 

Rent of £s (per annum) issuing out of Town Hall. 

A paddock held by C. Thorn, late T. Parfet, for two lives, 
John and Robert White. 

A parcel of land containing 104 perches in Burgesses 
Close, in hand rented by James George at 15/- per annum. 
The like also containing 104 perches in Hurd Mead, rented by 
C. Thorn at 15/- per annum. 

A parcel of land containing 33 perches at Batchpool held 
by Mr. Plucknett's family, till lately in Common, with land of 
George Messiter, junr., and now rented by him at 5/- per 

One acre in Grove Farm, rented by William Bracher at 
10/6 per annum. 

Of the above, the rents have been hitherto received by 
the churchwardens and entered in their annual accounts. 

Poors Lands, comprising — 

A house in South Street, formerly the Bell Inn, held by 
Carpenter, since by Mr. Ring, for life of Mrs. Hindley, lately 
fallen into hand at her death. 

A house in Horwood, formerly purchased of George 
Vining, now called, and used as, the Poorhouse. 

A house and garden adjoining, and formerly part of the 
same, fallen into hand on death of Edward Day. 

Of. the above, no rents received. 

A house in South Street unoccupied, since fallen into 
hand, and the others used by the parish. 

WiNCANTON Town Properties. 

Chanties — 

A bequest of £^o by John Thick, citizen of Bristol in 
1670, laid out with other money 30th January, 1694, ^^ 
purchase of the Poorhouse, and charged with an annual pay- 
ment, to be distributed on St. Thomas' Day, of ;^3-o-o 

A bequest of £$0 by John Green about the same year^ 
1693, not known how disposed of ; but as late Mr, Messiter 
used to pay a sum corresponding with the interest of such a 
sum, the present Messrs. Messiter are desirous to make it 
good, and have now invested the said ;^30 in the savings bank 
of Wincanton in names of the minister and churchwardens, 
one half of the interest thereof to be distributed on St. 
Thomas' Day 12.0 

A bequest of £^2 by Charles Brooke in 1693, P^^^ *o ^^^ 
parish officers, producing 32/- per annum, one half to be 
divided also on St. Thomas' Day 16.0 

Making the whole distribution on St. Thomas' Day ;f 4-8-0 
Remaining moiety of interest of Brooks donation 

payable by parish officers , 16-0 

Ditto of Green's from Savings Bank 12-0 


N.B. — Instead of the above half yearly sums of 12/-, the 
usual payments were 15/-, being at 5 per cent ; now the 
savings bank interest is only 4 per cent." 

At an appointment of new Trustees on the 19th July, 
1878, a schedule, issued by the Charity Commissioners, gave 
details of the property held in Trust as follows : — 

*'/. — Church Lands Charity. 

1. A rentcharge of 5/. per annum, charged on and 
issuing out of the Town Hall at Wincanton. 

2. Two houses in South Street, Wincanton, now or 
lately held by the Representatives of the late Mr. James 
Hannam and Mr. Edward Gilbert respectively, upon leases 
for 99 years determinable upon certain lives, at annual 
reserved rents amounting together to 3/. 2s. 6d. 

3. A close of land called " Church Close," ccMitaining 5 
roods or thereabouts, situate in Wincanton, now or lately 
held by the Representatives of the late Mr. James Crew on 
lease for lives, at an annual reserved rent of is. 

4. A piece of land containing 2 roods and 24 poles or 
thereabouts, situate in Burgess Close, in Wincanton, now or 
lately let to Mr. Edward Penny Trenchard as yearly tenant, 


WiNCANTON Town Properties. 

at an annual rent of i/. 8s. 

5. A piece of land containing 2 roods and 24 poles, 
situate in Hurd Mead, in Wincanton, now or lately let to the 
Representatives of the late Mr. James Crew as yearly tenant, 
at an annual rent of 15s. 

6. A piece of land, being part of the Wincanton 
Common, containing 33 perches, now or lately let to Mr. 
Robert Green as yearly tenant, at an annual rent of 105. 

7. A piece of land situate at Batchpool, in Wincanton, 
containing 33 perches, now or lately let to Thomas M. 
Dodington, Esquire, as yearly tenant, at an annual rent of 55. 

8. A piece of land situate in Grove Farm, in the Parish 
of Wincanton, containing i acre, now or lately let to the 
Reverend H. Boucher as yearly tenant, at an annual rent 

of iL 15. 

8. A house in Church Street, Wincanton, occupied rent 
free by the Organist of the Parish Church of Wincanton. 

//. — Poor's Lands Charity. 

1. A house in South Street, Wincanton, now held on 
lease by Stuckey's Banking Company for certain lives, at an 
annual reserved rent of 2/. 

2. A piece of garden ground situate at Horwood, in the 
Parish of Wincanton, now let to Widow Humphries as yearly 
tenant, at an annual rent of 2/. 10s. 

3. A house in two tenements with garden ground, 
adjoining the last- mentioned piece of ground, now let to 
Widow Humphries as yearly tenant, at an annual rent of 4/." 

In consequence of destruction by £re at that time of the 
church property y several important changes took place. I will 
take them in detail. 

No. I remained as before. 

No. 2. Mr. Hannam's house was destroyed, and re-built 
by Mr. John Hannam at his own cost, greatly enhancing the 
value ot the property. Mr. Gilbert's lease was bought out, 
the house taken down, the road widened, and the remainder 
thrown into the house in which Miss Hoskins now resides. 

Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, were sold, and the proceeds spent on 
the new premises. 

No. 9 was re-built, and is now let to Messrs. Rutter. 
The yearly revenue of this property is now larger than it ever 
was, and the property is in excellent condition. 

The Poor's Lands, too, have undergone a change. 

No. I. The house held for lives, by the consent of the 
charity commissioners, has been sold in fee to Messrs. Stuckey's 



Banking Company, and the money, with another sum, spent 
in the purchase oi Ways Close, about 15 acres, the whole of 
which is available for letting out in garden allotments, and a 
considerable portion of it is to let at a rental of 46,. per perch. 

No. 2 is also let for gardens. 

No. 3. The house fell into ruins, and the stones were 
used in putting up a wall to enclose the l^d which also is let 
as gardens. 

The charities distributed by the churchwaidens at present 
are — 

Thorn's, Green's and Dodington's charities, which amount 
to ;^5-ii-8 per annum. This is given away to the "second 
poor " of the parish on St. Thomas' Day. 

To the organist of the parish church 1-0-6- 

There is another sum of 9/2 given away at Easter, left by 
the late T. M. Dodington, Esq., of Horsington, to* a parishioner 
having not less than four legitimate children dependent on 
him, not having received parish relief for past three years. 

The following copy of an old document will show the 
origin of the property now held as Garden allotments. The 
name of the donor, Tbomas Ewens, will be recognised as that 
of an old Wincanton man. 

^To all christian people to whom these presents shall 
come. Robert Frcke, of Upwey, in the county of Dorset, 
Esq., lawfuU and rightfull heire of Andrew Ewens, late of 
Penasellwood, in the county of Somerset, Esq., deceased, 
sendeth greetinge in the Lord God everlasting. Whereas 
Thomas Ewens, Esq., late of Kingston, in the parish of Yeovil^ 
in the said county of Somerset, deceased, by his deed bearing 
date the fourtecoath day of April in the fifth year of King 
James the first (1608) over England &c. did grant and convey 
unto fifteen persons in the same deed named, and to their heirs 
and assigns. All that burgage, messuage or tenement, scituate 
lying and being in the towne or Burrough of Winecaunton, in 
the said county of Somsett in the South-street on the east side 
of the same streets and then in the tenure use or occupation 
of one George Burrough, since deceased and now in the tenure 
use or occupation of Joane Rogers, widow of the assignee or 
assignees for a term of years to come, and determinable on 
her death. Under the yeardy rent of Tenne Shillings unto 
severall trustees therein menconed. And, whereas the trustees 
aforesaid are all long since deceased of whom the afore named 
Andrew Ewens was the survivor and the said Robert Freke is 
his lawful acd rightful heire as aforesaid and now by force and 
virtue of the said deeds standeth in intrusted and interested of 


WiscANTON Town Propsrtibs. 

and in the revercon of the iaheritance of the said conveyed 
premisses with the appurtenances, and of and in the rents 
issues and profits thereof and towards the relief maintenance 
and sustenance of the poore people from time to time inhabet- 
mge within the said parish of Winecaunton where, how and 
when itt shall bee by the said Robert Freke adjudged or 
thought most needful or necessary and in his forbearance, then 
by the discrecon of the two constables of the burrough afore- 
said, and the curate there for the time being, or of any two of 
l^em as by the said deed relacon thereto had, more fully 
appears. Now know all men by these presents That the 
said Robert Freke for and in consideracon of the sum of Five 
Shillings current money of England unto him in hand paid at 
and before the ensealinge and delivery of these presents, the 
receipt whereof from the inhabitants and parishioners of the 
said parish of Winecaunton aforesaid is by him hereby con- 
fessed and acknowledged, and for and to ^e intent the trust 
aforesaid for the poore people aforesaid may bee the better for 
ever managed and continued, and for divers other good and 
valuable consideracons. He the said Robert Freke at the 
special instance and request of the inhabitants and parishioners 
aforesaid. Hath granted, bargained, sold, demised, released^ 
aJiened, and confirmed. And by these presents for himself 
his beires and assigns. Doth grant bargaine sell, demise release, 
aliene and confirme unto Richard Churcbey gent, Philipp 
Bennett the elder gent. Abraham GappQr the elder gent, 
William Swanton gent. Thomas Harvey gent. Thomas Gapper 
gent., John Vining gent., William Lewis goldsmith, John 
Clement the elder woolen draper, Robert Kix^e the elder 
Linen weaver, Morgan Keene mercer^ Owen Hill malster, 
William Ivey mercer, and Richard Sheppard Malster, all of 
the said parish of Winecaunton aforesaid in the said County 
Somsett. AH that the aforesaid burgage messuage or tenement 
situate lying and beinge in the Town or burrough of Wine- 
canton aforesaid in the South Streete there on the east side of 
the same streete and now in the tenure use or occupacon of 
the saide Joane Rogers widow together with the backside and 
garden there unto adjo3ming upon the east side thereof. And 
all the houses bams and buildings thereupcm builded or being, 
with all land singlar the appurtenance. And all other lands 
tenements, and heriditaments whatsoever within the parish of 
Winecanton aforesaid to the said burgage, niessuage or tene« 
ment belonginffe or appertaininge, as part or parcel thereof 
bdnge with all and singlar the sqxpurtenances. And the 
revercon and revercons remainders rent and services of all and 


WiNCANTON Town Properties. 

singlax the said burgage messuage or tenement and premises 
above menconed and intended to be conveyed and every part 
and parcel thereof. And all the estate right title and interest 
which he the said Robert Freke hath of, in, or to the same 
burgage messuage or tenement and premises or of in or to 
every or any part or parcel thereof. AH which premises were 
by a deed of bargain and sale bearing date and executed the 
day before the date hereof bargained and sold unto them the 
said Richard Churchey, Philip Bennett, James Lawrence 
Churchey, Abraham Gapper, William Swanton, Thomas 
Harvey, Thomas Gapper, John Vining, William Lewis, John 
Clement, Robert King, Morgan Keene, Owen Hill, William 
Ivye and Richard Sheppard, for the whole terme of six 
months to enable them to accept the grant and release thereof 
hereby intended to be made unto them. To have and to hold 
the said burgage messuage, tenement and all and singlar other 
the premises above menconed and intended to be conveyed 
and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto 
them the said Richard Churchey, Philip Bennett, James 
Lawrence Churchey, Abraham Gapper, William Swanton, 
Thomas Harvey, Thomas Gapper, John Vining, William 
Lewis, John Clement, Robert King, Morgan Keene, Owen 
Hill, William Ivye, and Richard Sheppard, their heires and 
assigns for ever. Nevertheless upon special Trust and con- 
fidence that they the said Richard Churchey (and others) their 
heires and assigns, and the survivors and survivor of them 
and his and their heires shall and will from time to time and 
at all times for ever, imploy distribute and bestow the fines 
incomes rents and profits of the said burgage messuage or 
tenement and premises before menconed and intended to be 
conveyed and every part and parcel thereof upon, for and 
towards the reliefe sustenance and maintenance of the poore 
people from time to time inhabitinge within the said parish of 
Winecaunton where how and when it shall be adjudged or 
thought most needfull or necessary by the discrecon of the 
Feoffees of the premises for the time beinge, or the more part 
of them, and in their forbearance or default or negligence then 
by the discrecon of the two constables of the borrough cjf 
Winecaunton aforesaid and the curate there for the time being 
or any two of them. In witness whereof the said Robert 
Freke hath hereunto sett his hand and scale the two and 
twentieth day of March in the yeare of the reigne of our 
Souveraigne Lord and Lady William and Mary, by the grace 
of God of England Scotland France and Ireland Kinge 
defender of the faith &c the sixth Annoq. Dm. One thousand. 


WiNCANTON Town Properties. 

sixe hundred ninety three. Robert Freke, Signed sealed 
and • delivered in the presence of us, Will : Freke. Rt 
Cambridge, Harry Freke, Elizabeth Perkins, Sam : Rake.** 

It is not so easy to give the origin of the Church property. 
In the list of burgages of Wincanton in 1558, it will be seen 
that the churchwardens held two burgages called the Church 
House, probably, I think, where the Town Hall now stands, 
since then called the King's Head, and half a burgage in Mill 

The other portions of land were, I think, conveyed to 
Trustees for the town in 1593 by William Tipper and Robert 
Dawe of the city of London ; but the changes have been so 
kaleidoscopic that it is all but impossible to give the story a 
shape. It was, however, all scheduled by the year 171 7. 
The pieces of land do not appear to have had a strict 
geographic position, but rather a certain measurement in a 
specified field. 

The Fairs and Markets property only remains to be 

The small piece of ground in the Market place probably 
existed in the middle ages. A market cross may have stood 
there, in time superseded by shambles partly roofed in, as at 
Shepton Mallet, then enclosed by oak posts and chains as some 
of us remember, and then covered on market and fair days 
only with temporary pig pens, and finally thrown open that it 
may be used by the public. 

The piece of ground at Batchpool, belonging to the Fairs 
and Markets Trust, was conveyed to the Trustees as their 
allotment when some hundreds of acres of common were 
enclosed about the end of the i8th century. 

239 ^ ^ 

Our Parish Hegisters. 


By the courtesy of the vicar, the Rev. Walter Farrer, I 
Ikm enabled to give an account of the Parish Registers now in 
existence, beginning with 1636, the date of the oldest. 
No. L contains — Baptisms from 163&— lyai* 
Marriages 1636 — 7. 

1640— 1720. 
Burials 1636 — 1721. 

No. II. containft-^Baptisms 1722 — 1734. 

Marriages 1721 — 1731. 

Burials 1721 — 1733. 

No. III. contains — Baptisms 1733 — 1762. 

Marriages 1731 — 1754. 

Burials 1733 — 1762. 

No. IV. contains — Baptisms 1762 — 1788. 

Burials 176a — 1788. 

No. V. contains — Marriages 1754 — 1785. 

No. VI. contains — Marriages 1785 — 1812. 
No. VII. contains — Baptisms 1789 — 1812. 
Burials 1789 — 1812. 

From the latter date all the entries are perfect. 
For the most part, the registers are a record of those 
baptised, married and buried, during the past 266 years ; a 
dreary story, excepting to those who have ability to connect 
the names with events which have transpired during these 
years. The following extracts, however, appeal to a larger 
fiumber, but even these will ^1 to awsiken any interest in 
those who are so absorbed by the business and pieasuces of 
the present day, as to be as careless of the past as they are of 
the ftiture. To the wise, however, the past, present and future 
are one and indivisible. 

" November 6th, 1664. Collected by the brief for Henry 
Lisle of Gisbrough in the North Riding of York, the sum of 
four shillings and fourpence. 

January 6th, 1665. Collected for Thomas Sloper of 
Harlpury, Gloucester, six shillings and fourpence. 

April 9th, 1665. Collected for Mr. Arundell and Mr. 
Price, captives in Turkey. Four shillings. 

September loth, 1665. Collected for James Nicholas of 
the parish of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, three shillings. 

September 24th, 1665. Collected for William Butt of 
King Weston, Somersetshire. Two shillings and eight pence. 


Our Parish Rcgistbrs. 

September 30th, 1665. Collected for John Osborne 
Russian merchant three shillings and eight pence. 

December 1665. Collect^ in the parish of Wincanton, 
by the minister, constables and churchwardens, for the relief 
of the poor of Sherborne, in the time of the plague, the sum 
of eight pounds and ten shillings." 

The minister was Rev. Elias Bulgin ; the churchwardens, 
Robt. Tucker and Owen Hill. 

** October 3ist^ i669« Collected for captives in Algiers. 
Four shillings and fourpence. 

September 19th, 1670. Collected for Michael Flower of 
Chart in Kent Three shillings and sevenpence. 

November 6th, 1670. Collected for the redemption of 
captives in Turkey, from house to house by the minister and 
churchwardens, the sum of four pounds and three shillings.*' 

The minister was Rev. Elias Bulgin ; the churchwardens, 
John King and Matthew Stone. 

"September 22, 1672. Collected for John Cox of Ham, 
parish of Kingston upon Thames in Surrey. Two shillings 
Und threepence. 

September 29th, 1672. Collected for Mary Pierson, 
widow of Nettlestead in Kent. Two shillings and sixpence. 

October 15th, 1673. Collected for Thomas Hewitt the 
sum of one shilling and elevenpence. 

October 26th, 1673. ^^^ ^^^®^ ^^^ ^^ Katherines was 
published, Collected from house to house the sum of seven 
killings and sixpence. 

November 23, 1674. Collected for Edward Sengar of 
Littleton couaty of Middlesex One shilling and iivepence." 


WiNCANTON Temperance Society. 



tDincanton Ccmpcrancc Socx^iy. 

Written for the Jubilu, Noveniher 11th to 16th, 1893. 

*' A few years since^ a popular song was written with this 
chorus — 

* Give to me the good old times 
Of fifty years ago.* 

There is in the minds of the aged a tendency to think 
more highly of the past than of the present, but it requires 
considerable courage, notwithstanding this, to maintain, with 
any seriousness, that the days of 1843 were better than those 
of 1893. Let us glance back. 

Fifty years ago, Wincanton was just awaking out of a 
heavy sleep, and showing some signs of activity. The miser- 
able Poor Law system had just come to an end, and the new 
Union Workhouse had recently been built. That wretched 
remnant of the dark ages, the stocks, with the old parish 
workhouse, had been just swept away. The window tax, that 
most odious of all taxes, had been abolished ; many obnoxious 
imposts, however, still remained, such as the taxes on bricks, 
salt, and newspapers. The vitality occasioned by the residence 
of the French oflBcers and by the weaving trade had come to 
an end, and nothing, as yet, had brought compensation. The 
material condition of the town was by no means hopeful, 
except as I shall indicate further on. In the Market Place, 
between the Bear and the Greyhound, a rough shoddy wall 
stood, from 20 to 30 feet high, under which all the idlers of the 
town resorted. The Town Hall buildings stood into the road 
at the north end, a dozen feet or more than it now does. Oak 
posts stood at intervals along the kerb and they were connected 
with chains. The water supply was intermittent, and in 
many places very impure. The public supply consisted of a 
pump with chain in the Market Place, a 'conduit at Pine 
House, a pump on Bayford Hill, another in Tything, a dipping 
hole at Thomwell Lane, and at Shatterwell, the shoots ; not 
infrequently, all but the latter were dry. There was no proper 
system of drainage, either private or public, and as to traps, 
for such drains as there were, they were not known. The 



pavements were not what they are now, and the droppings 
from the eaves of the roofs of the thatched houses drenched 
people as they walked along. Mill Street was so deserted 
that the grass grew in the street almost as if it were a field. 

The new buildings in the town since 1843 are too 
numerous to describe. The squalor of some of the cottages 
at the time in question cannot be imagined. The public 
houses, however, flourished, and they were more numerous 
than now. Let me recall them. I will include those at 
Bayford because they were supported ^ the townspeople, 
more than by the people of the hamlet. The "White Horse" 
at the top of the village street, " The Crown " in the centre, 
and " The Unicom " at this end. Coming across the parish 
border-line were «* The Rising Sun " near where " The Prince 
of Wales" now stands, "The King's Arms" where Mr. 
Maddocks now lives, "The Dolphin," ("Uncle Tom's Cabin" 
had not been opened). Next came "The Swan," where Mr. 
Woodcock lives, then the " White Horse," now Mr. Deanesly's, 
** The Bear Inn," where at the door the portly form of Host 
Grist could constantly be seen. "The Greyhoimd" kept by 
Mr. John Bayly, "The Trooper" where Mrs. Slade lived, 
** The Red Lion," occupied by Mr. Joseph Hutchings, " The 
White Hart" in Church Street, "The George" in Mill Street, 
"The Britannia" in North Street, "The Victoria" inTything, 
" The New Inn " in South Street. The others we have now 
have been opened since that time. Malthouses and breweries 
too flourished. Of the former there was one each at the 
"Dolphin," "White Horse," and "Trooper," two in North 
Street, and one by Waterside. One of these was burnt down, 
one is a Good Templars' Hall, another a Convent School, 
another a store, and another a Currier's shop. All the latter 
are abolished. There was one each at Bajrford " Whit^ Horse " 
and "Unicom." In Wincanton, at "Dolphin," "White 
Horse," " Bear," " Greyhound," " Trooper," " George," 
" New Inn," and " Red Lion." No marvel therefore that so 
many homes were wretched, and that the tme welfare of the 
people was neglected. Sunday trade flourished, and in the 
villages around, at the public houses on the Lord's Day " a 
roaring business" was done. 

It need scarcely be said that Education amongst the poor 
was almost nil. I think it was about 1840 that the National 
School was built, but it took a long while to get into working 
order, and it was continually in nnancial and other troubles 
for many years. It must be said, however, that in Mr. 
Fletcher's time the good old rule of "whackem" was well 



kept up. The British School was kept in the Baptist School- 
room, but it was not heartily supported. Of that generation, 
many neither knew nor learnt the mystery of the RRR. 

It would be interesting to see our dear old grandfathers 
and grandmothers, once more in our streets, as they then 
appeared. The former with large beaver hats, "cutaway" 
blue coats, with gilt buttons before and behind, white waist- 
coats, breeches and gaiters, and buckled shoes, ¥rith heavy 
watch chains and watches, and massive keys suspended from 
the chains. The dandies of the day with tight fitting trousers 
fastened down under their feet with leather straps so tight that 
they were in constant peril of collapsing. Our dear old grand- 
mothers with their coal scuttle bonnets, crimson cloth cloaks, 
with hoods of the same material, their feet girt with shoes and 
sandals, and their foreheads compassed with velvet bands. 
The laboring man's wardrobe was not very costly : corduroy 
trousers, a smock frock, reaching nearly to his feet, a coarse 
felt hat on his head, and heavy hobnailed " Kitty boots " on 
his feet — ^not "rights and lefts" as we wear, but straights, 
which for economy's sake he exchanged from one foot to 
another every day. 

Wages of laborers were from i/- to i/6 per day, and 
very long days too ; mechanics' wages varied from lo/- to 
15/- per week, each day of the six being of ten and a half hours. 
In winter great numbers had parish relief, the labor test being 
used, working very hard with a heavy iron mallet to cradk. 
gravel, earning perhaps 2d. per day. Bread was sometimes 
as much as lod. or even i/- per quartern loaf. Beer was the 
dearest of all, 5d. per quart, and was considered one of the 
chief necessaries of life. 

A new era, however, was dawning. Once again, a voice 
was heard in the desert ; a voice not heard by the rulers or 
the priests. The common people heard — listened—obeyed. 

About 1 84 1, Jonathan Pardy, a cobbler, and William 
Hart, a working currier, practised total abstinence. Strange 
beings I what business had they to be a living reproach to 
their fellow workmen ? This could not be tolerated. They 
were reviled, insulted, and even assaulted. But they had "Ik 
a candle never to be put out," Every missile thrown against 
the door of these men was a call to arms against drink. 
Others were watching these men, and wonderingly enquired, 
" Can I live without drink ? " and enquiring, dared also to try 
ihe experiment. The venerated James Teare, I believe, came 
here in 1841, and held a meeting at Dr. Nathaniel Parsons* in 
Mill Street. Isaac Phelps and Mr. Stockman, of Castle Cary, 



also came over in the same year, and held several meetings in 
the Chapel, in <<Obom's Yard." (This building had been 
erected, as I have been told, as a recreation room for the 
French Prisoners, and was afterwards used by the Baptists ; 
but the new Baptist Chapel having been built in 1833, this old 
chapel at the time in question was in the hands of the 
Wesleyans.^ These men extracted the spirit from beer^ &c., 
and burnt it before their audiences. Some signed the pledge, 
amongst the rest Jonathan Pardy and William Hart. Others 
of the <* baser sort," however, opposed these early advocates, 
and the '*new lights" and their friends were pelted with 
rotten eggs. Richard Cooper, Silas Hoskins, and Elias 
Barber, of Castle Car^, had joined the new crusade, and so 
the leaven was working in the three measures of meal ; 
mysteriously, silently, but surely was it operating, " we know 
not how," but its results I now will briefly trace. 

On the 2nd of September, 1843, Benjamin Benjafield, 
Tames Sweetman, and, I believe, Samuel Frost, made a pledge 
book and signed their names for one month, and liking the 
new practice so well, at the end of the term resolved to go on* 
On the 9th October, these yoimg men met at my father's 
house at Shatterwell Shoots to sign the pledge for an indefinite 
period. They entered their names, left the book on the table, 
and went awav to David Kiddle's '* Temperance Cofifee 
House " in Mill Street, to get some ginger l^r to wet the 
contract. During their absence I wrote my name in their 
book, a piece of presumption for which I was chided on their 
return. They were annoyed that a boy under nine years of 
age should spoil their pledge book by putting in a name so 
soon, as they then thought, to be erased. To induce me to 
keep the pledge, Benjafield promised me a shilling on Xmas 
day if I remamed true. He kept his promise, as I kept mine, 
and with the first shilling I ever had, I purchased a '< Universal 
Spelling Book," and so laid the foimdation of whatever 
education 1 have since had. Benjafield afterwards went to 
London, kept the tap at Charing Cross Hotel, and died there. 

The first organised attempt to found a Temperance 
Society was made on the 27th November of the same year. 
In answer, I believe, to an application from some local friends, 
"The West of England Temperance Association" deputed 
Mr. William Crawford, of London, to give a lecture at the 
Town Hall. So powerful was the appeal of the lecturer that 
30 took the pledge. Mr. James Hannam was asked to procure 
a copy of the rules of the Gillingham Temperance Society, 
and these rules with slight modifications were adopted. 


WiNCANTON Temperance Society. 

Dr. Eastment encouraged the young society by presiding at 
its public meetings, and to the end of his life manifested a 
warm interest in its operations. 

On 5th January, 1844, ^^® Society was well organized, 
the Committee being as follows : — ^Tames Hannam, Secretary, 
Henry French, Treasurer, E. Walker, Registrar, Henry 
Legg, Chairman of Committee, Thoma^ Giles. Alfred 
Collins, James Sweetman, John Lucas, Alfred Lacey, 
William Hart, the other members of the Committee. 

The lectures were at this time given in the Town Hall, 
and the Committee and Members' Meetings held in the 
Baptist School-room, and thoroughly earnest meetings they 
were. Stirring speeches were delivered, and extraordinary 
experiences related. One said, '< Before I signed the pledge 
my face was like a farthing candle, now it is becoming like a 
full moon." Another declared that he was so convinced of 
the evil of drink, that he would pull the taps out of the casks 
in his cellar and let the drink into the gutter ! And he did. 
I regret to say, that both of these men soon after broke their 
pledges. Let me here say a word for the earnest women of 
that day, who helped the Society. Mrs. Wm. Sims, Mrs. 
Kiddle, Mrs. Horsey, Mrs. Uriah Pond, Frances Hill, Betsy 
Kiddle, Susan Crouch, Emmaline Crouch, Jane Frost, Louisa 
Frost, and others, all gone into the other life. 

On the 23rd January, 1844, the first tea meeting was 
held. It was free, the money to pay for it having been 
collected. In addition to the members of the Society, 27 
members of other societies were present. 

On the 6th June of that year, one of the most extraordinary 
meetings ever held in the town took place. A large demon- 
stration was organized, a band engaged, a procession formed, 
the town perambulated. The Publicans got up a counter 
procession, headed by a drunken chimney sweep on horseback, 
who on a black ground had the words " Beef and Beer for 
ever" painted on his back. The procession returned to 
** Brown's Yard," on the west of the churchyard ; 300 took 
tea together, and a most enthusiastic meeting was held. 
Edward Neave, of Gillingham, presided, the chief speakers 
being William Gawthorp, of Manchester, and Thomas 
Hudson, of London ; the latter is, I believe, still living. 
There were interruptions enough to give a fillip to the whole 
proceedings. Gawthorp was one of the readiest men at 
repartee I ever knew. Sixty people signed the pledge that 

On the last day in that year, the first Temperance Brass 



Band enlivened the town with strains of sweet music. As 
near as I remember, the bandsmen were : Charles Matthews, 
George Shapcott, William Cdwards, John Gilbert, Benjamin 
Benjaiield, Ephraim Hobbs, Richard King, Francis Kiddle, 
John Horsey, Uriah Pond, and Aaron Bell. Two of them 
at least are now living. 

It is pleasant to remember with what heartiness the new 
converts entered upon mission work. How cheery they were, 
how little cared they for the jests they were subjected to, abuse 
clung not to them, persecution left no smell of fire on their 
garments, nor was their hair even singed. They went in those 
days many miles to encourage and help others ; Gillingham, 
Mere, Castle Gary, Bruton, Yeovil, and many a village round 
were visited to help "the cause speed on its way." Sunny 
memories of these early days may be recalled in connection 
with Kington Magna, 2eals, Bourton, Brewbam, Penselwood, 
Cucklington, and other places. It must not be supposed, 
however, that there were no reverses ; they were many, sudden^ 
fierce, and almost overwhelming. At times it seemed as if 
life were all but extinct. " Dead," one said. ** Yes,*' was 
replied, ** but not past resurrection." So it proved. 

In August, 1846, Mr. George Royce having come out of 
Rutlandshire to reside here, he and his good wife resolved tq 
revive the Society. A meeting was held at the " Old Presby- 
terian Meeting House," then a cooper*s shop. After tea, the 
Society was re-organized : Mr. James Hannam became Presi- 
dent, Mr. Richard King, Treasurer, Mr. Royce, Secretary. 

On 19th January, 1847, a meeting was held in the **Swan " 
Club Room, (now Mr. Woodcock's workshop), 100 people 
were present. Mr. Robert Goldsbrough, and Peter Howell, 
of Mere, addressed the meeting, and life was renewed. 

I regret to say that in consequence of the loss of records, 
I am unable to nx dates of many important events which 
took place about this time and for several years later on. 
This is my excuse for giving so full detail of some years, and 
so little of others. 

One of the best works ever done by the Society was 
that of opening a free night school at the National School. 
A committee undertook the work, and three teachers attended 
each evening to give instructions in Reading, Writing, and 
Arithmetic. Miss S. Crouch worked well in this department, 
and very manifest at the time was the good accomplished^ 
and 1 am glad to find some now living who were scholars, 
and who are thankful for what they then learnt. 

In 1850, a Temperance Coflfee House and News Room 


WinCantok Temperance Society. 

was opened in Clewett's Yard by Andrew King. Here 
discussions were held and essays read, and from here local 
missionaries went out to do village work. 

In 1 85 1, some members of the Society determined to go 
to the <' Great Exhibition " together for a week. They went 
in vans to Frome, thence by raiL They were distinguished 
by a local wit as *« Royce's Menagerie of tame beasts." I 
remember a few of the collection, they were : — Dr. Henry 
Gale, Dr. F. Gale, Mr. Royce, R. King, Mr. John Dowding, 
Mr. John Gilbert, Mr. Edward Gilbert, Mr. John Drover, 
Mr. James Hill, Cornelius White, dear old Charles Day, 
William Hutchings, William Sims, and others, myself among 
the number. The National Temperance Society having 
organized a great Festival at the Royal Surrey Gardens in 
the first week of August, was the chief attraction. 

The Band of Hope was organized in 1852 by Mr. Royce, 
the meetings being at first held in the Congregational Chapel. 
But in 1855, I believe it was, Mr. Royce found it desirable 
to employ the young more fully. Thirteen of them were 
appointed a Committee. I was the first Secretary, and I 
can testify to the zeal with which they worked. Our head 
quarters were the National School, which was freely placed 
at our disposal ; we washed, colored, and painted the whole 
building, and felt it to be our home. There we held weekly 
meetings, and purchased and opened a library of 300 vols., 
Mr. W. C. Pitman being the Librarian for a long time. I 
think it must have been in 1855, the first summer Festival 
was held under Shepton Montague club tent, in **Rick 
Hayes." This was a grand and unexpected success. 700 
persons took tea together and £y profit was cleared. A year 
later a still more succesful F6te was held at " Carter's Plot ;" 
600 partook, and in 1857, '*Rick Hayes" was again used» 
Mr. F. Shepherd then being Secretary. The processions 
at these festivals were very attractive. "The Stour 
Band," and the Drum and Fife Band organized by 
Mr. F. Shepherd, gave great assistance at some of them 
fetter on. In this connection it will not be amiss to refer to 
the second Brass Band, led by Mr. Wm. Pitman, i86i-63» 
in which the following took part ; Wm. Pitman, Leader^ 
Silas Kiddle, Comet, Henry Meatyard, Comet, Charles Shawe> 
Saxhorn, John Hannam, Saxhorn, Aaron Bell, Trombone, F. 
Shepherd, Piccolo, Alfred King, Richard King, OphicUide, 
James Hill, Dmm. Messrs, Perrett and Son, of East Stour, 
gave assistance when required. 

It was in i860, or the following yeas, I believe, the 


WiNCANTON Tbmpbrancb Socifixr. 

Railway was being made here, when some of the finest 
meetings we ever had were held in the Mill Street Schools, 
for the navvies ; Mr. Fred Atkin coming on Saturday nights 
to the Town Hall, and giving addresses in the School-room 
on Simday Afternoons. 

A friend recalls to my mind, and wishes me to note, a 
grand picnic we held at King Alfred's Tower at about this 
time. We went through the woods in wagons, attended, I 
believe, by our own band. Arrived there, we walked about, 
banners flying, hundreds of voices singing, and warm-hearted 
speakers rousing us to action. Rev. H. Gale was the chief 
speaker, and friends from Mere and Gillingham joined us. 
Two or three times afterwards we met at the same place, 
and once we had a grand gathering at Redly nch. These 
were the days before Railways offered so many attractions 
farther away from home* 

One of the results of these festivals was the purchase of 
the Town Tent. Feeling the want of a Town Tent, and 
having some money in hand, the Band of Hope agitated the 
question. Mr. Hannam took it up warmly, mentioned it to 
Mr. T. Richards, who brought it forward on Trinity Monday, 
1858, at the dinner of the Friendly Society. The club gave 
;^io, the temperance party another ;f 10. Private individuals 
also gave, and a sum was raised, the tent bought, and the 
hire of it paid the balance. 

On Sunday, the i8th July, 1858, Mr. James Hannam 
preached the first Band of Hope Sermon, in the Baptist 
Chapel, to a crowded congregation ; and since then this has 
become an annual event, the services alternating between the 
Congregational and Baptist Chapels, and the Parish Church, 
in which latter edifice the Rev. Thomas Richardson, of 
London, preached, in 1864, followed by Rev. H. Gale, of 
Treborough, Rev. W. C. Baker, of Batcombe, Rev. Abel 
Phillips, of. Yeovil, and Rev. C. W. Bennett, of Sparkford. 

In November, 1871, the Good Templar Movement was 
originated, and from that time till now, with an occasional 
break, weekly meetings have been held. Several of those 
who helped to found, still live to carry on that branch of 
temperance work, including as it does, the maintenance of a 
Juvenile branch with its weekly meetings. It began its 
operations in the Congregational School, from thence it 
removed to the Foresters' Hall. It returned to the Congre- 
gational School ; but on January 3rd, 1873, the Good 
Templars' Hall was opened, which continues to be its home 
to. this day. More than 500 persons above 16 years of age 



have become members. A full history of this Society would 
require all the space given to the whole of this report. 

The C.E.T.S. with its dual basis for Adults and with its 
Juvenile Society, was started during the Rev. M. Shackleton's 
residence here. It was re-organised on March Z7th, x886, 
by Rev. Dixon Spain. Mr. F. Francis has been the 
Secretary from the first, and the present President, the 
Rector, is a stalwart total abstainer. On February 21st, 
1887, the Bishop of the diocese gave an excellent address. 
Rev. W. J. Birkbeck, of Milborne Port, has helped the 
Society from the first. 

It is pleasant to acknowledge that each of these organiz- 
ations has done good and successful work on its own lines 
in furtherance of the common cause, but as many of the 
promoters were previously members of the old Society, it 
will be self-evident that their attachment to their newly 
formed bodies, to some extent lessened the working power of 
the pioneer institution. Of course this is equally true in 
regard to the organization of village temperance societies, of 
which there are several within a radius of four or five miles. 
The "Sons of Temperance*' had a lodge here a few 
years since, but it did not have a very long life. 

Some years ago a petition in favour of the Permissive 
Bill, the result of a house to house canvass, was sent to the 
House of Commons, containing 460 names. 

The Blue Ribbon Movement a£fected us during the 
year 1882, and led to a large number of pledges being taken* 
Mr. Duxbury and Miss Wingfield-Dlgby were prominent 
advocates in this new departure. 

More than 20 years ago there had been entered on the 
pledge book of the Society, more names than the whole of 
the population at that time. 

I find it difficult to select from the mass of material 
memory brings forward, but which for want of records, 
precision cannot be ensured ; but I will mention some of the 
names of the noble workers, in the cause in the past 
most of whom have passed away. Dr. F. R. Lees, 
the champion of many a well-fought field. Dr. Henry 
Gale, Dr. Frederick Gale, his twin brother, Jabez 
Inwards, John Addleshaw, Thomas Hudson, John Andrew, 
T. B. Thompson, Robert Gray Mason, John Hilton, 
Wm. Mottram, G. W. McCree, George M. ^furphy, Evan 
Edwards, J. G. Thornton, Richard Home, Fred Atkin, J. C. 
Booth, Wm. Gregson, J. P. Uran, John Sergeant, J. S. 
Balmer, John Ripley, Wm. Dunn, Simeon Smithard, John 



de Fraine, John W. Kirton, George Lomax, W. B. Harvey, 
Joseph Chapman, John Farley Rutter, Mr. Wilson, and 
many other good men and true, and noble women not a few, 
including, Mrs. Balfour, Mrs. Theobald, Mrs. Jasper, Jessie 
Craigen, Mrs. Potton, Mrs. Ripley, and many others " whose 
record is in heaven." But of local workers I fain would 
mention, as true men and women, strong in their zeal for the 
principles and practice so dear to them ; the sisters £. and 
S. Crouch, the sisters E. and K. Clewett, the sisters A. and 
W. Shepherd, Mrs. Drover, the sisters A. and M. Hannam, 
Miss Vining, Mrs. Dyke, Mrs. P. H. Bracher, Miss Wilson, 
R. Martin, and others, all of whom have been ever ready for 
work. John and William Hannam, F. Shepherd, Wm. 
Churchey, Charles Day, E. H. Dowding, C. Shawe, James 
Sweetman, Edwin Crouch, Sidney Day, W. C. Pitman, 
P. H. Bracher, T. C. Parsons, C. Pocock, John Steele, 
George Gilbert, Charles Woodcock, Rev. John Brown, 
George Ball, T. W. Eden, E. & F. Francis, and many others, 
who by speech, song, and example, have never hid their light 
under a bushel. To record the work of recent years would 
require space far beyond that at my disposal, and is the less 
needful, as those to whom this sketch will be the most 
welcome will be able to recall the principal events in which 
they have been themselves associated. What the result of 
all this work none can say. But this it is safe to say, that 
blessing without alloy has always followed the practice of 
true teetotalism. Financial and moral prosperity has ever 
been promoted, and it is only when we have been unfaithful 
that we have had reason for regret. 

Standing on the borderland of the past, and looking back, 
we may reverently say " What hath God wrought ? " and 
looking forward let us gird up our loins afresh, ready for the 
work lying before us, and notwithstanding fear and trembling 
lest we should be unequal to the demands upon us, let us 
say, '* I will trust and not be afraid." 
Wimanton, September 5th, 1893. GEORGE SWEETMAN." 

At these meetings, 120 attended who had been total 
abstainers for 20 years or more. The aggregate years of 
their lives numbered 4872 years, of which 3870 years had 
been spent in the practice of total abstinence. 

Several who were alive when the above was written 
have since entered into rest. 


Chronology op Evbnts. 

GUioiiologu or EYents in wmcaiitoii anil 
NelDHfiorQooil ironi Via earnest tuqes. 

This is not offered as by any means a list of the more 
important events which have occurred during the past centuries, 
but such data as is available to the Editor. It is thought by 
him to be, in brief, a record which will be of use to the 
ordinary reader. Necessarily, many of these dates are given 
under other headings in this book. 

For an account of our earliest known inhabitant, see 
page 5. 

A.D. 272. Roman Coins of Tetricus, of about this date, 
found at Sutton, Wincanton. StukiUy's Itimrarium Cuttosum. 

Roman coins and horse shoes have been often found. 

A.D. 658. Cenwallas fought against the Britons at 
Peonne (Penselwood). See Saxon Cht^amcls. 

A.D. 849-901. King Alfred fought some of his battles in 
this neighborhood. Alfred's Mill (the Town mill) bears the 
name of this one of our greatest Kings. 

The Saxon period is also commemorated in the North 
porch of the church by the legend of Eloy, Bishop of Noyon. 

It is supposed that a Saxon church stood on the same 
site as the present parish church. 

There appear to be fragments of Saxon work also at 
Yarlington church. 

The names of many places all around us indicate a Saxon 

A.D. 1085. From Donusday Book. — 

**Reneware holds of Walter (de Dowai) Wincaletone. 
Elsi held it in the time of King Edward, and gelded for three 
hides and a hall The arable is seven carucates, in demesne 
is one carucate, and two servants and sixteen villanes, and six 
bordars, and five cottagers with seven ploughs. There are 
fifty acres of meadow and as many of wood. It was, and is^ 
worth seventy shillings. To this manor is added, half a hide 
which Brismar held for a manor in the time of King Edward 
and gelded for half a hide. The arable is five carucates. 

Reneware has there one carucate and two servants and 
seven villanes, and nine bordars and two cottagers with three 
ploughs. There is a mill* of thirty pence rent, and sixty acres 


Chronology of Events. 

of meadow and thirty acres of pasture, and one hundred acres 
of wood. It was and is, worth forty shillings." 
Twelfth century. — 

** It was to the same family (the Lovels) also that the 
foundation of Stavordale Priory in the early part of the 12th 
century, must be ascribed. Not that there is any absolute 
documentary evidence on this point, but the conclusion may 
none the less be arrived at with tolerable certainty.'* Bishop 
Hobhousi in First Report of Wincanton Field Club. 

A.D. 1 147. Lord Lovel's Castle at Castle Cary destroyed. 
1227. Sir Richard St. Maur, Lord of the Manor. F^lps. 
1263. Robert Prior of Stavordale. CoUtnsan. 

Stavordale endowed with lands at Cuttlesham. 

M.S., Wells Cathedral. 
1278. William de Bath. Parson of the chapel of St. 

Andrew, at Marsh, Wincanton. Patent Rolls, 
1283. Nicholas de St Maur held manor and borough. 

1285. Hugo Lovel tenet Winkehaultone, per baronium 

suam per idem servicium. Kirhy*s Quest, 
1291. The tithes of Wincanton bestowed on Stavordale 

Priory about this time. Bishop Hobhousi. 
1300. To about this date is the earliest masonry in 

present church attributed. 
1309. Robert de Cherleton, Prior of Stavordale, died. 

1311. Rob. de Sarr. Incumbent of Bratton St. Maur. 

Weaver's Somerset Incumbents. 
1316. John de Weston. Rector of Stourton. 

Brass in Stourton church. 
1322. Walter de Etone, Stavordale, resigned on August 
13th. Phelps. 
Wm. de Nimesfield confirmed Prior of Stavordale 
on August 29th. Phelps. 

1327. Richard Lovel, Lord of the Manor. 

Exchequer Lay Subsidies. 

1328. Lord Richard Lovel presented Robt. de Cran- 

thome to the chapel of Marsh Lovel Court. 

Drokensford Rggister. 
1330. John Brian, Incumbent Wincanton. 
1333- wm. de Nimesfield, Prior of Stavordale, died. 

1333— July 2ist. Henry de Nimesfield became Prior of 

Stavordale. Phelps. 
1345. Richard Chambermound baptised, church S.S. 


Chronology of Events* 

Peter and Paul, Wincanton. 
^ 349* John de Wy ncanton, Incumbent of South Chedton. 

1350. John Mere de Wyncaltone, Incumbent of South 

Cheriton. Weaver. 
136a. Nicholas de St. Maur.died in possession of manor 

and borough of Wincanton. Phelps. 

1373. Nunney Castle fortified. Somi. Arch. Proceedings. 

1374. Wincanton Rectory united with Stavordale Priory. 

Wells Cathedral M.S.S. 
1400. Date of bell at Charlton Church. 

Report Wincanton Field Club. 
1403. Walter of Wincaulton, incumbent of Claverton. 


1406. Walter of W3mcaulton presented ;f 100 "and other 

things" to Wells Cathedral, for which he was 

allowed to erect an altar on the N. of the great 

tower. Wells Cathedral M.S.S, 

1409. Walter of Wyncaulton's will made. He was 

prebendary of Warminster, 1383-1408. Desires 

prayers for himself and Alice Strode. 

1443 — June 4th. Stavordale Priory re-built by John 

Stourton, dedicate to St. James. Phelps. 
1444. Will of John Lydford, Wincanton, proved. 

S.R. Society. 

1448. John de Stourton created a baron. 

Hoards Wiltshire. 

1449. Alexander Dyer, Incumbent of Bruton. Weavw. 
Wm. Edward, Incumbent of Wincanton. Weaver. 

1450. Nunney Castle re-built. 

1459. John Dier instituted Vicar of High Ham. 

1 468. William Lord Zouche died possessed of Marsh 

Court. Phelps. 
1472. Katherine Zouch died. Phelps. 
1475. Wincanton Mill and other property conveyed by 

High Court to Henry Belknap and William 

Knoyle, gentlemen, having been unlawfully held 

by Richard Petyn, of Bruton, and his wife. 
1485. Battle of Bosworth Field. John Lord Zouch, 

being on the losing side, was attainted, and lands 

i486. Giles Daubeney, Lord of the Manor. Phelps. 
1488. John Lord Zouch re-instated as far as Marsh was 

1500. John Vining, alias Dyer, died here. 


Chronology of Events. 

1512. James Dier born. 

1523. Kichard Dier died. 

1533. Stavordaie Priory annexed to Taunton. 

1535. Richard Zouch's appeal to Thomas Cromwell. 

1537. Wincanton's fighting parson, Sir John Divale. 

rroiMs England. 

1540. Richard Bekyn's will. Somerset Wills. 
Leland's description of Stourton. 

1541. Sir Richard Smith, curate. 
Date of Robert Hine's will. 

Lord Wm. Stourton purchased Kilmington ma;nor. 
1544. Stavordaie Priory dissolved. Phelps. 

1548. William Lord Stourton died. 

1549. Wincanton Tethinge mentioned in Subsidy Roll. 
1552. Great Plague in Wincanton. 

John Lord Zouch died. 
1556 — March 17th. Charter granted to Wincanton. 
1557 — ^January 12th. The Hartgill murder. 

John Dier, Rector of Wincanton. Phelps. 

Lord Charles Stourton arraigned for murder. 

1558. James Dier, Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas. 
Burgage List of parish this year. 

1559. Wm. Hannam of Wilkin Throop died. 

1566. Roger Manners, lay rector of Wincanton. Phelps. 
1570. Final sale of the Zouch property here by ©harles 
Zouch to Jerome Dibben. 

1577. Dirdoe Wm. at Cucklington. 

1578. George Croyden, L.L.D., died. 

1579. Renewal of Charter. 

Farewell of Holbrook first mentioned. 
1 581 — March 24th. Lord Chief Justice Dier died. 

1582. Date of Stalbridge Market Cross. 

1583. Roger Sweetman, re Spanish Armada. 

1584. Date of Bell at Penselwood Church. 
Date of Epitaph at South Barrow. 

1587. Robert Kemys of Cucklington died. 

1592. Several Wincanton recusants fined. 

1593. Wincanton Lanshard referred to. 
Grant of church lands in Wincanton. 
Suddon elm mentioned. 

1595— June 23rd. Matthew Ewens purchased Mere Park. 
Sept. 24th. Matthew Ewens and John Stroud 
conveyed Mere Park to Sir Matthew Arundell 
and his heirs for ever. 
1598. Nicholas WattSi curate. 


Chronology op Evbnts. 

1598 — ^June 13th. Matthew Ewens, barcm of Exchequer, 

buried at N. Cadbury. 
1602. East Field referred to. 
Walter Tite referred to. 

1607. William Swanton mentioned. 

1608. Farewell and Churchey exchange lands. 
Origin of Poors* Lands Charity. 

1615. Date on Clapton Manor House. 
Late Prior of Stavordale mentioned. 

1 616. Lease for lives of Church Lands granted. 

161 7. Richard Ivy of Charlton died. 

1623. In VisUation of Sotnersst for this year are the 
following names. — 
John Ewens of Suddon. 
John Ewens, aged 18. 
James Farewell of Holbrook. 
Lawrence Glyn, Wincanton. 
Robert Huson, ,, 

William Swanton. 
Barnabie Lewis. 
William Stroud. 
Humphrey Newman. 
William Plympton. 
Roger Newman, Charlton Musgrove. 
John Glyn of Wincanton. 

1626. Hugh Watts of Shanks mentioned. 
1631. Edward Zouch died. Gerard. 

A group of Wincanton people who compounded 

for not attending the Coronation of the King. — 

Barnabie Lewis paid ;^io 10. 

James Farewell, Holbrook 25 o. 

John Ewens, Suddon 10 o. 

Humphrey Newman 14 o. 

William Swanton 10 o. 

Andrew Ewens of Penselwood 10 o. 

1636. Parish Registers begin. First burial recorded 

that of Constance Lewis. 

1637. Gertrude Baunton died. 
Charter renewed October 24th. 

1638. Rhode Island founded by Wincanton pec^le. 

1639. Barnabie Lewis=s=Roberta Webb. 

Newport, Rhode Island, foimded by Wm. Dyer, 
of Bratton, and others. 

1640. Messiter family came to Maiden Bradley. 


Chronology of Events. 

z64i. Henry Glyn, Wincanton, gent, died. 

Plague raged in Wincanton. 
1645— :i St April, 1200 horse and dragoons here under 

General Digby. E. Green. 
1648. James Churchey sequestered. 
1650. Dorothy Mogg died. 

1652. Date of Wincanton Trade Tokens. 
Aucres Bridge mentioned. 

John Vining lived at White Horse. 
Wincanton people left for America in <'Mr. 
Stratton*s ship." 

1653. J^^^ Creed, parish registrar. 

Society of "The Church of Christ" in Wincanton. 
1655. Rev. Henry Shepard, curate, died. 
1656 — Feb. 19th. Thomas Churchey, Roundhill, died. 
1657. Jane Ewens buried at Penselwood. 
Date in jamb of Church Tower door. 
Thomas Churchey buried. 
William Mogg died. 
1660. George Croyden died. 

May 29th. Effigy of Rev. John Sacheverill burnt 
on Bayford HUl. 
1662. Richard Benjafield of Wincanton, linen weaver, 
on refusing to swear and to attend church, was 
fined ; and on non-payment his goods were 
seized, value ;^3«i2-i. 

1664. Trials for witchcraft. 
Humphrey Newman granted arms. 

1665. William Strode of Wincanton, gent, was one of 

J 36 prison^e tried at Exeter s^er the Royalist 

1666. Date of Royal Arms in church. 
1668. John Cary Dimmer died. 

Mary Churchey's will proved. 
1670. John Thick's Charity. 

1672. Redlynch House built. 

Temple Combe Congregational Church oi^anised. 

1673. Wincanton gentry named in Blome's Britannia^ viz. 

Abraham Gapper. 
Thomas Farewell. 
Richard Churchey. 
Thomas Farewell, Horsington. 
Thomas Nicholls, Clapton. 
Thomas Stroud of Maperton. 


Chronology op Events. 

Hugh Watts of Cucklington. 

Maurice Berkeley, Yarlington. 

Thomas Rolt, Abbas Combe. 

Sir Hugh Wyndham, Silton. 
1674. John Langley*s will. 
1678. Kichard Churchey, Lord of the Manor. 

1 681. George Newman, Charlton Musgrove. 

1682. Wincanton people at Salem, U.S.A. 

i68a. Elizabeth Watts, Shanks House, buried in linen. 
Tablet, Mr. George Cooper's. 

1683. Date on trunk at Simdial House. 
1685. Jeflferies and Wincanton Martyrs. 

1688 — Dec. I St. Prince of Orange at Wincanton. 

1690. Wm. Dyer at Sussex, U.S.A. 

1691. Date on dial at Batch. 

1692. Date on house at Bratton. 

1693. Date on Wm. Cockey's Brass at Brewham Church. 
1694 — ^Jan. John Thick's Legacy of £$0 to second poor. 

1698. Richard Churchey's wul. 

1699. Bell Inn referred to. 

1700. Abraham Gapper died. 

1703. Date on Cucklington Church Tower. 
Destructive storm here, November 26th and 27th. 

1704. Inquisition at Ilminster re Fairs and Markets trust. 

1705. Great Fire at Wincanton. 

Mr. Wm. Lewis of Verrington died. 
1707. Renewal of Charter, December 12th. 
1709. Thomas Gapper, Balsome, died. 

Thomas Gapper, senr., Suddon, died. 
1710— February. Henry Sacheverill's trial. 

1711. Small pox prevailed, 88 died. 

1712. Borough Court Leet. 

1716. James Laurence Churchey died at Roundhill, 
aged 48. 

1720. Bear Inn built. 

1 72 1. Capt. Thomas Churchey died Feb. 27th, aged 39. 

1722. Philip Bennett died at Maperton, March 15th, 

aged 50. 
1722 — April loth. Great fire in South Street. 

1724. Stukeley at Wincanton. 
Ireson House built. 

1 725. Philip Bennett, Wincanton, died 7th April, aged 87. 
Independent Chapel at bottom of "Rock Hill" 

adapted, being formerly a malthouse. 
1725. " Dulish Lane " mentioned. 


Chronology of Events. 

1726. Richard Andrews, of Wincanton, married Hannah 

Gaylard at Long Sutton Church, 22nd Nov. 
1735. Peter Mathew, clockmaker, Wincanton. 

Enlargement of Parish Church. 
1737. Prevalence of small pox in the parish. 

1739. Richard Ring in practice here as attorney. 
Ireson's pottery in operation. 

1740. Proclamation of war celebrated at Wincanton. 

1 741 — ^August 13th. John Hacker killed in Ireson's quarry 
by a stone falling from a wagon. Parish Register. 

1744. Wincanton Stocks renewed. 

1745. Abergavenny mentioned. 

Sir Richard Hoare, Lord Mayor of London. 

1748. Chancel to church built. 

1749. Wm. Dupe, centenarian of Stoney Stoke, boni. 
Association against felony. 

1750. Hadspen House sold. 
1752. Dr. John Ring bom. 

1754. Moulton Messiter married Mary Ring. 

1759. Richard Messiter bom. 

1762. John Wesley first preached here. 

1764. Ibayford Lodge built. 

1765. Lord Charles Berkeley drowned at Bruton. 

1766. Baptist Chapel, Horsmgton, built. 

1768 — March 25th. Old market house destroyed. 
1769. Association against felony. 

April iSth. Ireson died, aged 83. 

1771. Vestry notes commenced, perfect from that date. 
Batchpool enck>sed. 

1772. Shatterwell Bridge built. 

^ First Quaker's meeting held in Wincanton. 
1774. See Window Tax, page 157. 

1783. Fatal accident, Yarlington Fair. 

Rev. James PlucknettsssMiss Cross, Yeovil. 

1784. Silas Blandford commenced practice as surgeon 

in Wincanton. 
Mr. Gaisford, attorney, Wincanton, died in 

Ilchester jail of a malignant fever. 
Miss Ring of Wincanton=Rev. J. Everett of 


1785. Mr. Henry Mogg, silversmith of Wincanton, 

married to Miss Pamela Spink of Ditcheat. 

May 1 6th and 17th. Backsword playing in Win- 
canton for a prize of 3 guineas. 

John Deane died. 


Chronology op Events. 

1786. Moulton Messiter died 5th July, aged 57. 

1788. Date on stable of Parsonage. 
Dr. Perfect died. 

Mr. Dyne of London = Miss Lucy Messiter of 

1789. Hill House, Wincanton, for sale. 
A year of great destitution. 

Mr. White, attorney, Yeovils^Miss Ann Messiter 

of Wincanton. 
Mr. Samuel Smith, attorney of Wincanton, died 
of dropsy. 
— September 19th. New Feoffees appointed. 
1790 — September. Backsword played at Wincanton, 

Prizes — ^^Ten guineas and five guineas, 
z 79 1 . Turnpike Tolls realized above the cost of collection : 
Willoughby Hedge Gate ;f2oo 2 ij 
East Gate, Wincanton 131 3 io| 

Abergavenny 45 19 2I 

South Gate 146 9 2I 

Rev. James Edwards of WiltQn=sMis6 Priscilla 

Brown of Wincanton. 

August 4th. Sacred Concert of Handel's Music in 

Wincanton church. Admission by ticket, 2/- each. 

1793 — January 13th. A mad dog bit several people in 


Meeting at Wincanton to promote a navigable 

canal from Bath to Poole. 
Decided in vestry to have new bells for the. church 

tower, and to raise the tower 15 feet. 
July 1st. Captain Goldesborough, R.N., married 

Mrs. Horlock. 
August 5th. Stavordale Fair held in Wincanton 

1794. Mr. Guyer, malster, died ; a msm who lent much 

money to people he could trust, free of interest. 

October 27th. Henry Parsons, Esq., West Camel, 
buried at his request in a cedar plantation. A 
pyramid erected there to commemorate the burial.^ 

Mr. R. Ring, attorney, died. 

Eight houses destroyed by fire in High Street. 

Richard Messiter = Miss BrickelL 

1795. Rev. Wm. Warlow became minister of Congre- 

gational church. 
Uriah Messiter married to Miss Martin of Silton. 
1797, Rev. S. Farewell died. 


CttttoKOLoCY w Events. 

1797. Newman's engraving of Wincanton published, 

1 8th May. 
1 798— January 15th. George Deane, tallow chandler of 
Wincanton, died suddenly. 

Mr. Dyne, Bruton, solicitor « Miss F. Messiter, 
daughter of Moulton Messiter of Wincanton. 

Wm. Fookes, Rear Admiral of the Blue, died at 
Holbrook House. 

An Act of Parliament passed for Local Govern- 
ment of Wincanton. 
X 799— Dec. 23rd. Joseph Williams, Esq., of Finsbury 
Square^to Mrs. Webb of Wincanton. 

Uriah Messiter died at Maiden Bradley. 

Gerard Ellis of Wincanton buried at Cucklington. 

Independent Chapel built. 

1800. Lattiford House built. 

May 22nd. Great distress in Wincanton — gardens 
undigged and no seed potatoes for planting. 

September i8th. The new Congregational Chapel 
opened, the cost having been ;^837-3-6. 

1 801. Census of parish first taken — total 1772. 

1802. Thomas Green appointed parish clerk. 
Vestries held on Sundays. 

John Deane, gent, died, 
oseph Brown buried in Congregational Burying 

1804. John Tozer, schoolmaster, died February 20th. 
Nov. 9th. Fire in South Street (Mrs. Gurney's). 

1805. Hutchings and Son's business began. 

1806. Horwood Waters discovered. 
French prisoners arrived. 
Charlton Rectory built. 

1808. John Peter Pichou=^ Dinah Edwards. A French 
prisoner married at Stoke Church. 
St. Swithin*s Day. Great hailstorm at Holbrook. 
March i6th. * Mr. John Eden, now living, born at 
2810. Alleged robbery of /1881 in notes, Whitmarsh 
Bank, Wincanton. 
French Masonic Lodge in Wincanton. 
181 1. Census taken. Population 1850, besides 306 
French prisoners — ^total 2156. 
August. George CuUiford, a smuggler, sent to 
Ilchester Jail for helping off Frencli captives 
from Wincanton. 


Chronology op Events. 

1811. Poorhouse at Bayford built. 
1812— March 12th. Grant Foster Grant-Dalton bom. 
Mr. Jukes, Hatherleigh, killed by a bull. 

1 81 3. Lawrence Hill lowered, vestry voted £yy towards 

the cost. 

1 814. Commons at Kilmington, Charlton Musgrove, 

and Wincanton enclosed. 

1 81 5. Francis Rogers=Miss Beckley. 

1 816. Tinderbox cottage built. 

1 817— May 24th. Mr. T. E. Rogers bom at the Old 
Parsonage, Yarlington. 

1 818. Churchyard enclosed. 

1819. Richard Messiter bankmpt. 
John Brown, gent, died. 

Dalton monument erected in Cucklington church. 
1 82 1 — March 17th. Mr. Boyce, West Pennard, resigned 

Bristol and Yeovil Waggon trade to Brown and 

Brice of Wincanton. 
March 22nd. Samuel Light, Stoke Trister, aged 

32, married Miss Susan Ellis of Wincanton, 

aged 60. 
March 22nd. Alfred Hoskins=Mis5 Jane Thom. 
July 5th. N. Dalton, Shanks, gave a hogshead of 

cider, 100 loaves, and 100 lbs. cheese to the poor 

of Cucklington, to celebrate the Coronation of 

George IV. 
September 13th. Joseph Brown, Esq., of Win- 
canton, married to Miss Baker of Wincanton. 
Aug. 29th. Mr. Frank King, shoemaker, married 

to Miss Charlotte Davis. 
Aug. 31st. Mr. Robert Way, farmer, Wincanton, 

married to Miss Elizabeth Parrott ; Mr. Wm. 

Herridge, of Wincanton, married Miss Toogood 

of Kington Magna ; Mr. Thomas Pitman to 

Miss Prudence Herridge, both of Wincanton. 
1822 — January 17th. Sale of Mrs. Sly's eflfects at Malkin 

Hill Farm on retiring from business. She died 

in 1875, aged 102. 
May I St. Ben Day of Wincanton hanged at 

Ilchester for burglary, buried at Wincanton on 

4th May, without a funeral service. 
1823 — September 5th. New Feoffees appointed. 
1824 — Apiil 1 6th. Daniel English of Maperton married 

to Mrs. Pernor, Bear Inn, Wincanton. 
May 27th. Robert Thom of Wincanton married 

Elizabeth Hannam at Wincanton. 


Chronology of Events.' 

Dec. gth. Edward Prentice, Esq., of London, 
married Miss Sarah Combe at Wincanton. 

December. Mr. Hillyar, druggist, of Warminster, 
to Miss M. George of Wincanton. 
1828. Robert Gutch, attorney, died. 

Rev. John Messiter died. 

Robert Gapper died. 

John Goodfellow became organist. 
1829 — July 19th. Baptist Church formed at Wincanton. 

Rev. John Radford buried. 

Rpv. Wm. Carpendale became curate. 

1833. Mrs. Uriah Messiter died. 
Mr. John Howe died. 
Hawkers or Aucres Bridge built. 
George Lapham, innkeeper, died. 

June 20th. New Baptist Chapel opened. 

1834. Malthouse, Waterside, destroyed by fire July 3rd. 
George Messiter died November 21st, aged 58. 
John Templeman died. 

1835. Thomas Knighton killed by a horse. 

Poor Law Guardians elected December 30th. 

1836. Uriah Coombes killed by a cart. 

{ohn Gawler burnt to death. 
)r. Hawkins died at Laverstock. 
Nicholas Brown died February 23rd, aged 56. 
Sept. 17th. Mr. Cooper's new house burnt down. 
Musgrave and Garrett's Bank closed. 
December i6th. Town first lit by coal gas. 
1837 — ^January 9th. Great snow storm, roads blocked. 
Lord Weymouth died at Shanks. 
George Deane (Dr.) born. 
Lord Stavordale died at Cowes. 
Miss Mundy, Lattiford House, died. 
183R. Thomas Goodfellow died. 

Joseph Melhuish of Pitcombe died February 23rd, 

aged 108. 
Church property sold for lives for ;^36o. 
June 28th. Immense Parish Festival in Balsam, 

Coronation of Queen Victoria. 
Elizabeth Fitzgerald of Maperton House died. 

1839. Henry Goodfellow, ironmonger, died. 

1840. Reservoir on Bayford Hill built. 

1843. Wincanton Temperance Society founded Nov. 27.. 

1844. Wra. Macmillan born at Wincanton. 
Messiter's Bank closed. 


Chronology op Events. 

1847 — November 8th. Rev. J. E. Drover ordained, Con* 

gregational Chnrch. 
1852 — March gth. Band of Hope formed. 

Mr. Edwin Deane died. 
1856— January 14th. First policeman arrived. 

1858. Kev. George Day died March loth, aged 71. 
Town tent purchased. 

1859. Congregational School finished October nth, cost 

1 861. Railway opened. 

1 86a. Dr. Eastment died October 30th, aged 65. 
Dr. Bruorton died October 30th, aged 61. 
Dec. ist Mr. Albin Rawlings, Canada, to Annie, 
eldest daughter of Mr. N. Dyke, Brain's Farm, 
Oct. 26th. At Baptist chapel, Mr. A. G. Perman, 
to Sarah Ann, eldest daughter of Mr. James 
Hannam of Wincanton. 
1863. At Fifehead Magdalen, Robert Linton, Esq., 
solicitor, Plymouth, to Catherine Jane, only child 
of Mr. E. J. Meaden of Fifehead. 
1864— June 28^h. James Wm. Prowse, Esq., married to 
Emmaline Lucy, only daughter of Thomas 
Messiter of Berwick. 
1865 — ^June 1 8th. Special vestry to consider improving 
Moor Lane. X)ecided by a large majority not to 
The last Wincanton Cattle Show Market. 
January nth. Wilts and Dorset Bank opened. 
James Crew died November a5th, aged 64. 
•* Shatterwell shoots" rebuilt 
1866, November 17th. Great meteoric showers, 1265 

counts in four hours. 
1870, George Messiter died March 2nd, aged 68. 
June 6th, Very heavy hailstorm. 
Somerset Archaeological meetings held here in 
1871 — ^January ist« Swpetmm*5 Journal first published. 
Mr. Bradney bought Bayford Lodge. 
Church rates abolished. 
Tom Rogers' Dramatic Company hero. 
Infirmarv at Wlorlljiouse buiU. 
Bronze Age man foimd in Windmill quarry. 
March i6th. First School Board appointed^ 
Board Schools op^sed July 31st. 


Chronology or EvsNts. 

1871— November 7th. Good Templar Lodge formed* 
^ 1872 — February 9th. James Haniaam died, aged 63. 

Dr. Colthurst died at Pine House in May. 
Mr. Lock's house, opposite Coylton Terrace, built. 
Masonic Hall opened June 13th. 

1873. Wesleyan Chape) opened. 
Trooper Inn ck^d. 

1874. Turnpikes abolished, houses sold. 
Coylton Villas built. 

Maperton House bought by Thomas Todd-Walfon. 
Wincanton New Water supply, 
November i6th. Arthur Messiter died, aged 35. 

1875. Rev. J. P. Chown in Wincanton. 

1876. Twenty cottages taken down in Grant's Lane. 
Cremona Musical Union, May. 
August. R. H. Hoyle came as schoolmaster to 

Board Schools. 
August. Surrage family left Wincanton. 
UrMih Jacobs died. 

1877. Bedford Villas erected. 
Dr. Bayley lectured here April 10, 11, 12. 
Town Hall burnt down August gth. 
Great Hailstorm October 14th. 

1878. Coflfee Tavern built. 
" The Dogs •* sold to Mr. Herridge. 
Hospital first proposed. 
New clock built. 
Feoflfees re-appointed July 19th. 
Town Hall opened October 23rd. 
Mr. Eden's shop built. 
Mr. Hannam's shop built. 
Miss Hoskins' shop built. 
Mr. Rutter's <^ces built. 

1879. Mr. Henry Messiter died October 9th» ag)ed 76. 
Mr. Herbert Messiter died October 31st, ageid 38. 
Shambles removed November 27th. 
Baptist Jubilee celebrated. 

1881 — Heaviest snowstorm of the century, January. i8th. 
October 28th. Rev; Henry Collins cfied, aged8o. 

1882. John Albin Baily died August loth. 
Swedenborgian church formed in Wincanton, 

November 19th. 

1883. Mr. Wm. Bennett's offices bmlt. 

1884. Rev. R. Nicholson inducted December 7th. 
i885^aouai:y ist. Parish Magazine conmienced. 


Chronology of Events. 

1885 — March 15th. Miss Chafyn-Grove of Zeals restored 
the Great Tithes to the church. 
Churched open to public May ist. 
Rev. Richard Nicholson died Sept. 30th, aged 58. 
Cricket Pavilion erected May 8th. 

1886. Houses first numbered. 

Church restoration bazaar, June 23rd and 24th. 
;^27o-9-9 realised. 

1887. Charles John Shaw died February loth, aged 54. 
February 21st. Bishop Hervey presided at a 

lecture by Rev. J. B. Wilkinson at Town Hall. 
Victoria Jubilee rejoicings, 25th June, in Balsam 

Foundation stone of church laid August nth. 

1888. Cemetery opened 25th Jime by Bishop Hervey. 
1889 — ^January 22nd. Mr. Bailward elected C.C. 

Thomas Richards died February 5th, aged 77. 
Nine cottages burnt down at Mill Head Feb. 24th. 
Election of Guardians April 9th — Hutchings 328, 

Herridge 305. 
Field Club organised April 30th. 
Aug. 13th. Consecration of the church by Bishop 

Hervey. Preachers on the occasion — Canon 

Gore and Dean Plimpton. 
August 1 8th. Consecration of the Carmelite 

Monastery bv Bishop Clififord. 

1890. Arthur Mursell lectured at Town Hall Jan. 29th. 
Mrs. James Bracher died January 31st, aged 93. 

tames Baker died February 21st, aged 82. 
)alton Foster Grant-Dalton died Apr. 15th, aged 78. 
Ireson Pottery Exhibition, June loth. 
Samuel Sly died June loth, aged 88. 
Henry Goodfellow died June X7th, aged 8o. 

iames Lancaster died July 27th, aged 65. 
Irs. Elias Green died October 15th, ag^ 82. She 
left her fortune to hospitals in the county of 

1891. John Boyd died January 9th. 
Charles Thorn med January 9th. 
John Messiter died April 17th, aged 78. 
Dr. George Deane died July 7th, aged 53. 
October 2nd. Cattle show ; 1330 came by train, 

weather rough, balloon would not rise. 
Miss Chafyn-grove died November 27th. 

1892. Charles Goodfellow died February ist, aged 76. 


Chronology of Events. 

i892« Benjamin Bracher died April 7th, aged 66. 

Great fire at Handley on May 20th ; ;^i 0,000 
damage, 52 houses destroyed — same number as 
at Wincanton in 1705. 
1893. Charles Dowding, saddler, died Jan. 13th, aged 78. 
Garden Allotments apportioned. 
Bridge at Railway Station built. 
1895. Robert Green, parish clerk, died April 3rd, aged 79. 
Rev. John Edwin Drover died Sept. 26tb, aged 78. 

John Webb Baker died September 30th, aged 88. 
ienry Bottle died March i6th, aged 76. 
John Barnes died September 20th, aged 70. 
Charles Herridge died December nth, aged 85. 
Board Schools opened on Friday, 17th December ; 

H . Hobhouse presided ; addresses given by Lord 

Edmond Fitzmaurice, Mr. Bailward, Rev. W. 

Farrer, Rev. Fr. Badger, Mr. Gordon, H.M. 

Inspector of Schools, Revs. John Brown and 

James Houston ; the cost of premises ;^^6oo, 

payment to be extended over 50 years ; Architect, 

Mr. Thomas Hudson. 
1897. William Churchey, the last of an old and re^>ected 

family, died January 14th, aged 87. 
John Davis, printer, died at Bournemouth on 

January 14th, aged 84. 
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, 

June 28th ; ;^i46 raised. 
December 15th. Mr. Edward Yalden Cooper died, 

aged 89. 
1898 — ^Jan. 31st. Rev. Colin Grant-Ddlton died, aged 39. 

1900. Susan Ellen, widow of Henry Messiter, died at 

Kensington, November i8th, aged 82. 
1 2th December. Hospital inaugurated, trustees 
and officers appointed. 

1901. Tradesmen's Social Club opened in March. 
March, Mr. Angerstein purchased Holbrook Estate. 
March nth. School Board Election — Farrer 391, 

Eden 361; Houston 262, Dabinett 193, Wood- 
cock 192. 

Richard Hutchings died March 21st, aged 87. 

Sampson Bamford died March 29th, aged 82. 

Report of the census, issued April 26th, showed 
that the population of Wincanton had decreased 
in 10 years from 2109 to 1889. 

June 24th. Rev. Joseph Beaupr6 commenced his 



ministry at Baptist ChapeL 
Premises of the New Market Co. in Tything laid 

out in August ; first Market held October 2nd. 
Walter t)^ke died October 21st, aged 60. 
William bims died December ist, aged g6. 
X902 — ^June 5th. Provincial Grand Lodge^f Freemasons 

held at Wincanton. 
Edwin Crouch died July 13th, aged 85. 
August 9th. Coronation of lUng Edward VII^ 

Raised for Festivities, ;^94-i-4 ; for Hospital, 

George Stagg died November i6th, aged 64. 
1903. At the Petty Sessions in January, T. E» Rogers, 

J.P., retired from the bench after 42 years' 

At the same time W. B. Langhome, J.P., retired 

after 15 years* service. 
April 27th. William Weare, oldest tradesman in 

Wincanton, died April 27th, aged 74. 




Thb Hospital. 

1 8, High Street, Wincanton. 

This is one of our newest and most beneficent institutions. 
It originated in a meeting held at the Town Hall, on December 
I2th, 1900, Mr. Bailward, J.P., C.C., in the chair. Dr. 
Edwards, who had taken very great interest in promoting it, 
gave an outline of what was required, with the result that it 
was at once started. Drs. Edwards, McReddie, and 
Gardiner, have rendered excellent and voluntary service until 
now ; Miss Laura Dumbleton also has been matron from its 
inception. It is open to the whole district. Many cases have 
been most successively treated. 

Foresters Court. 

"Stavordale Priory," No. 4815. 

The court was opened ixt xS66« This has bera a success- 
ful society, and a boon to hundreds of members in 
sickness, and to their friends when death has overtaken them. 
The sick and funeral pay last year amounted to £^2^. The 
present number of members is 400, and the amount invested 
;^4,300. Mr, C. H. Woodcock has been the only Secretary 
to this court, his long experience being of. great advantage to 
this flourishing society. 

JuvBNiLB Foresters. 
"The Hope of Wincanton." 

Founded in 1882. As with the adult court, there has 
been but one Secretary, in this case Mr, J. W. Eden. The 
two trustees, Mr. George Stagg and Mr. Wm. Weare, have 
both died within the last year. Present number of members, 
70 ; funds invested, ;^i8o. 

This branch is a great source of strength to the parent 
society, from 6 to 10 members being transferred every year. 

WiNCAKTON Steeplechases. 

Held every Easter Monday at Hatherleigh Farm. 

These steeplechases originated in 1893, and have been^ 
continued every year. The committee is a strong one and is 


Societies AND Institutions. 

being added to from time to time. Mr. W. T. Goodfellow has 
been Secretary and Treasurer from its origin. It is in a 
flourishing financial condition, and has recently contributed 
;^i05 to the Daily Telegraph frind for widows and orphans of 
those killed in the late war. It has also contributed ;^2i to 
the local hospital and £15 to the Coronation fund. 

Masonic Lodges. 

There have been three at least. 

In 1793, the " Lodge of Urbanity," No. 524, was held at 
the Bear Inn, but it was erased in 1809. 

In 1 810, another was opened under the auspices of the 
Grand Lodge of France. It was in the main composed of 
French officers. I have given particulars in my " French in 

The present " Lodge of Science," No. 437, was at first 
established at Bourton, Dorset, and was in operation in 1836, 
but was transplanted here about 1870. 

In January, 1872, a large and important meeting was 
held here in the Town Hall, which gave an impetus to the 
Lodge. At that time the present hall was fitted up as a lodge 
room, and has been kept for the same purpose from that .time 
till now. Like all other things human, it has had its lights 
and shadows, but it appears to be at present on a good found- 
ation and doing a useful work. 

Provincial Grand Lodge was held here for the first time 
in 1902, under the presidency of Lord Dungarvan. 

There are now 27 members. 

Yeomanry Cavalry. 

In the year 1804, there were three corps of Infantry 
Volunteers in Wincanton. 

L Corps. Captain — Uriah Messiter 

Lieut, and Adjt. — Richard Ring. 
Officers and men, 51. 
II. Corps. Captain — Robert Gapper. 

Officers and men, 68. 
III. Corps. Captain— William Webb. 
Officers and men, 61 • 
As I write, I have a copy of the muster roll of these three 
corps before me. The enrolment appears to have been first 
made in August,. 1803. On page 216, I have referred to a 
troop of Yeomanry in 1802, of which Richard Messiter was 

In the year 1821, a Captain Messiter held a field day at 


Societies and Institutions. 

King George IV.'s coronation* This, I presume, was George 
Messiter, who I find gazetted as lieutenant of the Mells troop 
on 23rd Tune, 181 7, in the North Somerset Yeomanry, and as 
captain November 1st, 1821. It appears to me that this 
George Messiter was one of the Messiters of Frome. The 
history of the North Somerset regiment states that in Nov., 
1830, the nij^istrates of Wincanton applied to the Lord 
Lieutenant, Lord Bath, at Longleat, for protection ; that the 
N.S.C. were called out to protect Bruton, Wincanton, and 
Shepton Mallet ; and that in consequence of the Bath troop 
having been sent here, a troop was raised here with J. Bailward 
as captain and Henry Messiter as lieutenant, the date of their 
commissions being January 19th, 1831. H. T. G. Fitzgerald 
had taken the place of Mr. Bailward on 17th December, 1841, 
to be in his turn superseded by B. H. St. John Mildmay on 
24th August, 1848. Mr. Henry Messiter was still lieutenant 
in 1850. 

From that time the troop has been kept up. The present 
style of the regiment is the " North Somerset Imperial 
Yeomanry" ; Major McLean of Sherborne being captain, 
J. J. Glyn 1st, and Lord Wolverton 2nd lieutenants. The 
present number of the troop is 43. For many years past, 
Sergeant Major Clarke has kept the men up to their drill, but 
has just been replaced by Sergeant Major Hollinger. 


The Oddfellows here are like "Ships that pass in the 
night." Some time about the year 1850 there was a lodge 
here, the members of which presented a testimonial to Mr. 
Richard Hutchings, who was one of their number. The 
folding case is still preserved by Mr. R. R. Hutchings. It 
bore the name of the "Royal Kale" Lodge, No. 3330. It 
tells us that the " Past Grands " of the lodge have been — 

James Vincent, shoemaker 
Dlijah Pitman, shoemaker 
Richard Hutchings, tailor 
Thomas Green, gardener 
Thomas Francis, tailor 
Henry Leach, publican 
John Card, currier 
Jesse Geard, tailor 
Charles Dunn, waiter at Bear Hotel 

iohn Edwards, painter, 
ese, Mr. Richard Hutchings was the last survivor, 
who died in March, 1 901, aged 87 years^ 


Societies AKd Institutions. 

The Good Templars' Lodge, No. 415, 
Was organised here in November, 1871. During that 
time, about 400 members have been initiated. About 50 of 
these have departed this life, and a large number have gone 
the wide world over, niany of whom to this day are filling 
positions of great trust. The lodge is now weak in numbers, 
but the members meet weekly on Monday evenings at 8 
o'clock. They are amongst the most advanced temperance 
workers. Mr. Sydney Day — Secretary. 

The Juvenile Temple in connection with the Lodge, No. 
411, meets weekly on Thursdays. Mr. William Pitman-^ 

The Fms Brigade 

Was established in February, 1886, when the present 
engine and appliances were purchased. There had been 
three engines before, for particulars of which see "Fires in 
Wincanton," but the only surviving one was practically 
useless. In nine years, to 1895, ^^ expenses had been 
£2^1-17-1^ » Mr. W. T. Goodfellow is the captain, as he has 
been from the formation of the brigade. Happily, the services 
of the brigade have not been much in demand for several 
years. A more systematic trial of the engine, appliances and 
men, from time to time, to keep them fully up to readiness for 
work, is much to be desired. 

The Wincanton Field Club 

Was organised on the 6th June, 1889. The first president 
was the Rev. James Bennett of South Cadbury, one of the 
Secretaries of the Somerset Archaeological Sociiety. Other 
presidents have been — Revs. F. W. Weaver, W. E. Daniel, 
E. H. Bates, W. Farrer, and Messrs. T. H. M. Baflward and 
T. H. Baker i As a rule, three excursions have been held 
during each summer, and the transactions of the society have 
been printed in annual reports, making a book of about 300 
pages. The Secretary from the first has been Mr. George 

Wincanton Friendly Society. 

This is the present representative of "The Trooper 
Club," for the origin of which we must go back at least to 
1842. For many years its annual festival was held on Easter 
Monday, but for a long period it has been held on Trinity 
^Monday, when a procession, a sermon in the parish church, 
and a dinner in a tent in the cricket field, form an important 



part of the proceedings. It breaks up every ten years, when 
the savings are divided. It is now in its eighth year« There 
are at present 90 members* Mr. Bernard Weare has just 
been appointed Secretary in place of his father, deceased, who 
was Secretary for 28 years. 

WiNCANTON Cricket Club. 

Formed— 1883. 
Ground — On Hde Hill. 
Pavilion— Erected in 1885. 
President — Mr. G. H. Cooper. 
Captain— Mr. W. T. Goodfellow. 
Vice-Captain — ^Rev. G. H. Wilson. 
Treasurer— Mr. F. T. Fowler. 
Secretary — Mr. G. M. Ingram. 

WixcANTON Football Club* 

Formed — About 1^890. 
Ground — In Dancing Lane. 
President— Dr. P. G. McReddie. 
Captain — Mr. W. S. Matthews. 
Secretary and Treasurer— Mr. R. Bassett 


Charitable Inst!tutions. 

iioViat\\a\)\e 3tis\\\u\\otis. 

Names and Addresses of Public Officials in Wincanton 
at the time of publication of this book. 

The Parish Church of S.S. Peter and PauL 

Rector— Rev. W. Farrer, The Old House. 
Curate — Rev. G. H. Wilson, Laburnum Villas. 
Sexton — Mr. Frederick Tucker. 
Organist— Mr. W. E. Smith. 

Roman Catholic Church, 
Parish Priest — ^Father Francis. 

Baptist Church, 

Pastor — Rev. Joseph Beaupr6, Mill Street. 
Caretaker — Mrs. £. Hannam. 

Congregational Church, 

Pastor — Rev. James Houston. 
Caretaker — Mrs. H. Day. 

Wesleyan Chapel^ North Street, 
Society Steward— Mr. G. F. Benjafield, High Street. 
Brethren's Meeting House, 47 High Streets 
Friend^ Meeting House, High Street. 

Church of England Sunday Schools, 
Secretary — Mr. Fred Francis, Station Road. 

Baptist Sunday School, 
Superintendent— Mr. F. W. Lancaster, West Hill. 

Congregational Sunday School. 
Superintendent — Mr. W. C. Pitman, High Street. 

Wesleyan Sunday School, North Street. 
Superintendent — Mr. Richard Chiplen. 

Roman Catholic Sunday School, North Strut, 
The tJrsuline Sisters. 


Local Institutions. 

Wincanton Sunday School Unioiu 
Secretary — Mr. T. C. Parsons, Castle Gary. 

Wincanton School Board* 
Chairman — Mr. C. H. Woodcock. 
Clerk— Mr. F. W. Lancaster, West HilL 
Attendance Officer — Mr. F. Francis. 
Master— Mr. R. H. Hoyle. 
Girls' Mistress — Miss Hacker. 
Infants' Mistress — Miss Richardson. 

Wincanton Burial Board. 
Clerk— Mr. George Richards. 

Wincanton Coal Charity ^ founded November 17th, i836« 
Secretary — Mr. J. W. Eden from 1890 still holds the office. 

Between 60 and 70 tons distributed every year to more 
than 100 families, the general price to the recipients being 5d. 
per cwt 

Wincanton Social Club, founded 1901. 
Secretary — Mr. A. E. Goodfellow. 

Wincanton Constitutional Club^ founded 1884. 
Secretary — Mr. Henry P. Green. 

Wincanton Liberal Association. 
Secretary — Mr. C. E. Rutter. 

Wincanton Clothing Club. 
Secretary and Treasurer — Mrs. F. T. Fowler. 

Wincanton Market Company. 
Secretary — Mr. J. O. Cash. 

Volunteers^ 3rd Battalion Prince Albert's Somersetshire Light 


Armoury — ^Town Hall Buildings. 

Officers— Capt. J. O. Cash ; Lieut. W. S. Donne. 

The Headquarters of the Volunteer Corps for this district, 
originally at Wincanton, were afterwards removed to Castle 
Cary. There were no Wincanton members of the Corps for 
a great many years. In the year 1899, however, a section of 
the F Company 3rd Vol. Batt. Somerset L.I., (the present 
designation of the Battalion) with over 20 members, was 
established at Wincanton ; officers at that time — Major A. J. 
Goodford, and Lieuts. Cash and Donn^. 


Local Folk Lore. 


(just a few as a sample.) 
¥ ^ ^ 

Jack White's Gibbet. 

Our chief legend for many years was that of "Jack 
White's Gibbet." A highly coloured story was written in 
1 841, ^ving a description of a fratricide, said to have taken 
place in 1727. It had its foundation in fact, as Mr. William 
Macmillan of Castle Gary has shown in the Castle Cary Visitor, 
Jack White was a Wincanton man, who, in a drunken row 
over a woman, murdered a man named Gilbert, for which he 
was hanged in chains at Bratton cross roads on 19th of 
August, 1730. 

The reader is referred for the details to the Cary Visitor 
for 1898, and for the original story to the publishing house of 
this history. 

The Little Cup Maker. 

I have no idea of the age of the legend of "The little 
cup maker,'* but I believe it is very old. The story goes that 
once on a time a traveller was going along a high road in this 
neighborhood, when he heard a loud cry from a ditch by the 
roadside of " Help, help, please pull me out." The traveller 
stopped and asked, " Who are you ? " when he received the 
reply, " The little cup maker of Wincanton." " Then stay 
where you are ; if you had been a big cup maker I would 
have helped you, but a little cup maker, never ! " From that 
time, Wincanton men became known as Little Cup Makers. 

Twelve Celebrated Market Towns. 

" Hadspen, Honeyweek, Pitcombe and Cole, 
Higher Shepton, Lower Shepton, Stoke and Knowl, 
Higher Zeals, Lower Zeals, Wolverton and Penn, 
There are not twelve such market towns in England 
The whole of these places make only four parishes, 
namely, Pitcombe, Shepton Montague, Zeals, and Pensel- 
wood ; the remaining eight are hamlets. 


Local Folk Lore. 

Burfitfs Commandements, 

"John, what are you up to, to-day ?" "I be keeping 
Burfitt*s commandements, to do no manner of work." 
Query — Who was Burfitt ? 

George Turk's Larks. 

Half a century ago in Wincanton were two brothers, 
William and George Tulk, commonly called Turk. They 
were both droll fellows, George very much so. It is said that 
on one occasion George said, "Fve had such a spree this 
morning ! " " What was that, George ? " "I emptied a 
kiddle o' bwiling water over brother Bill's legs." " Why did 
you do that, George ? " " Oh ! only for a lark." 

Any practical joke came to be called a George Turk's lark. 

Tantry Boomer. 

" I know how long I shall live." " How long will that 
be ? " ** As long as Tantry Boamer, who lived till he died." 

Tke Mason's Petition, 

Masons were always thirsty souls. When Lattiford 
stables were erected, there might have been seen this poem 
chalked on a board, to draw the sympathy and coins of visitors. 
** All you gentlemen that comes in here. 
We hope that you will give us a little drop of beer , 
The weather's very hot, and the workmen's very dry 
So you that's got a plenty we hope you wont deny." 

Tom Gougk. 

A thing of little value is described as "zummat o' nothin', 
like what Tom Gough zeed at the show." 

The Gookoo. 

" Let the weather be ever zoo. 
The gookoo will come before March do goo.'* 


" Dost thee know what nonsense is ? 
No ! then FU tell thee. 
'Tis eatin' firmity (frumenty) with a stockin' needle." 


Local Folk Lors. 

TAr Tooad^ 

** Tliee bist as scram as a tooad in hedgin' gloves." 
*<Thee'st puff and blow like a tooad a hedgin'/' 
'' Thee'st got as much use for thic thing as a tooad for 
zide pockets.'* 

Bedlam^ South Bnwham^ 

Has the reputation of being a bleak place. It was said 
that John Chamberlain, a bellows maker of 60 years ago, was 
in the habit of going there to get the wind to put in his 
bellows, hence their good quality. By the way, this Chamber- 
lain may have been a descendant of the Suddon Chambermoun 
of A.D. 1345. 

YiUow Whit$wask. 

It was formerly said of a local plasterer, by the name of 
Blandford, that he undertook to whitewash the church ' Yaller.' 

PaUy Hodges' Oudr. 

Anything irremediably broken was said to be like Patty 
Hodges' chair — broken in three halves. 

A ChMt Pray$r. 

Very commonly repeated by children in this neighborhood 
a century ago.— 

'< Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, 
Bless the bed that I lie on ; 
Four comers to my bed. 
Six angels round my head, 
Two at head and two at feet. 
And two to keep my soul asleep." 

A Catch on Ireson's Moftumint. 

Our forefathers formerly told the children that when 
Ireson heard the clock strike twelve at midnight, he came 
down from his pedestal to drink, and then went back again. 
Of course this was true. 

Old Local Nursery Lullabies, 

" Poppety croust, poppety croust, 
We'll have a feast in Oliver's house ; 
You find figs and I'll find flour. 
And we'll have a pudding in half an hour." 


Local Folk Lore. 

** Cry baby bunting, 
Father's gone a hunting, 
Mother's gone to Gillingham 
To buy the baby a plaything/* 

" Billy, Billy Button, 
Stole a leg of mutton. 
He tied it on the horse's tail, 
And took it up to Sutton." 

'' Charley likes good ale and wine, 
Charley likes good brandy, 
Charley likes to kiss the girls. 
As sweet as sugary-candy." 

" Tommy, Tommy tit-a-mouse 
Had a black beard, 
He kissed the pretty maidens, 
And made them all afeared." 

" Zoo Zaa Zacky, 
All the bells shall waggy ; 
One vor you and one vor I, 
And one for Cousin Jacky." 

" Batty caeke, batty caeke, baker's man, 
Baeke mother a caeke as vast as you can ; 
Prick en and daeke en and mark en with B, 
And put en in open vor Billy and me." 

The Bird Keeper's Song.— 

" Little bird eat enough, leave enough. 
My master's rich enough ; 
Chee Hello, Hello, Hello, 
Hello, Hello, Hoy." 

Man a Lost I 

The story runs, that a solicitor's clerk in Wincanton had 
been to Stourton on his employer's business, and returning 
late, lost himself in the woods. In the dark he cried aloud, 
** Man a lost." The owls asked " Who ! " when the man 
replied, " Mr. Messiter's clerk, Harry Dando." 



^t>(r^ INDEX. K$K> 

Act for paving ... 56, 103 
Allotments Ground ... 236 

Andrews 94» 9^ 

Angel Inn 77 

Angerstein 196 

Assembly Rooms ... 188 
Associations for protection 
against felony in 1749 

and 1768 229 

Aynell, Sir John 54 


Baker family .. 
Balsome House. 
Band of Hope 


Baptists, Origin 

... 120 
183, 186 
... 183 
... 248 
... 207 

Foundation of Church, 
(1829) 75 

Chapel built 75 

Renovated 76 

Sunday School ... 75 
New Schools ... 76 

Barrett 183 

Barton 196 

Bath, William de ... 42 

Bayford Lodge 201 

Beacon family 94 

Bear Inn 78 

Beaupr^, Joseph 76 

Beky (Bacon) Richard 44 

Bell Inn 79 

Bennett, Philip 187,202,219 

Bioletti, Albert 99 

Black Lyon Inn 79 

Blue Ribbon movement 250 
Board of Guardians... 108 

Board Schools opened 267 
Borough and Burgesses, 
(1558 and 1678) 32, 125 

Brickenden .. 
Britannia Inn 
Bronze Age, Skull and 

Pottery of 

Brown, John 

Bryan, John 


Buildings, Ireson*s 







Bulgin, Elias...55, 118, 15a 

Burlton-Bennett 187 

Bush fsunily .«. ... 95, 98 

Carmelite Friary ... 191 
Carpendale, William 57, 46 
C.£.T.S. ... ... •• 250 

Chambermoun 194 

Charities 234 

Charlesworth, G. ... 76 
Charlton Musgrove 

Churches 201 

Charlton Rectory ... 201 
Charter of Fairs and 

Markets 26 

Church — ^The Parish 42 

In 1735 44 

Alterations in 1748 44, 55 
In 1 791 — Collinson's 

description 45 

Tower raised and bells 

re-cast, 1793 ... 45, 92 
Alterations in 1810... 45 
Purchase of Organ, 

1818 45 

Becomes unsafe ... 46 



Church — 
South gall^ enlarged, 

1828 ••• 4^ 

North gallery erected, 

1829 46 

Mr. Sedding's report on 

the Old Church ... 48 
Restoration of — 

see Restoration. 

Church-bells 45, 92 

Churchey family ... 182, 

183, 200, 202, 219. 

233» 334. «35» 239 

Church-rates 45, 46 

Churchwardens ... 106, 170 
Churchyard — 

Interments in 44 

Enlargement and en- 
closure, 1 81 8 . . • 45» 47 

Clement 185 

Clergy — see Incumbents. 
Clock — su Town Clock. 

Clockmakers 97 

Cockey 94, 97 

Collins, Henry ... ... 57 

First sermon ... 57 

Colmer, Davys 55 

Colonists from Wincanton 165 
Compton Castle ... 202 
Conduit Hill ... 186, 190 


Their Trust Deeds 68-70 
The Old Chapel ... 68 
Present Chapel built 69 

Constables • ... 102 

Cooper 183, 187 

Coronation of Charles I. 256- 

Court Leets 102 

Cranthome, de 42 

Cricket Club 273 

Cross family ••• 94, 95, 98 

Crown Inn 80 

Croyden, George ... 221 
Cucklington 205 

Daily Services at Church 59 

Dalton ; 206 

Day, George ... 74, 75, 224 

Deane 186 

Deane, George 218 

Deanesly, Edward ... 226 

Dandy 194 

Devonshire House ... 187 

Dibben 194, 203 

Dickenson 197 

Dier family— s^ Dyer. 

Dier, Sir James 211 

Dirdoe ... 206 

Discove manor 201 

Distress in 1789 56 

Dogs, The i8a 

William of Orange at, 


Dolphin Inn 8x 

Doney 9^ 

Dress in 1843 ^. ... 244 
Dyer family ... 187, 199, 212 

Wills of ... 43, 212, 213 

See Vyning. 
Dyer, William 166 

„ Mary 167 

Edgar, Robert 55 

Edward, William ... 54 
Eligius, St. 39, 40, 42, 52 
Essex, William de ... 54 
Ewens family 165, 194, 236 

Ewens, John 54 

Ewens, Maurice ... 208 
Exchequer Lay Subsidies 123 

Fairs 26, 233, 239 

Farewell family ... 195^ 196 

Farewell, Saml. 56, 187, 196 

„ Thomas ... 55 



Farrer Walter 60 

Letter on acceptance 

of living 60 

Paugoin 205 

Feoffees 3i» 89 

Field Club 272 

Fire Brigade 272 

Fire in 1707 55 

^ »• 1877 190 

Five Bells Inn 12 

Fitzgerald 202 

Fletcher, Charles ... 227 

Football Club 273 

Foresters' Court 269 

Fountain Inn 82 

Fox, Sir Stephen ... 201 

Frankland 196 

Freemasons 270 

Freke, John 166 

French Prisoners 182, 185 

Friendly Society 272 

Friends, Society of ... 72 
Furniture of Town Hall 96 
„ of Workhouse 107 
Furtz preaching at 

Wincanton 71 

Gapper ... 44, 183, 194 

Gapper, Richard 55 

Garrett & Musgrave's Bank 207 
Garvin, Nicholas (Gawen) 

Gatehouse, Samuel ... 56 

Gentry in 1673 257 

George Inn, High St. 82 
George Inn, Mill St. ... 83 
Golden Lion Inn . . 83 

The Admiral's pew 45 
Good Templars ... 249, 272 
Grant-Dalton, C. 47^ 50, 58 
Restoration of Church 50 
Lenten Address ... 58 
Farewell Letter ... 59 

Greyhound Inn 83 

Greyhound Tap 84 

Guardians, Board of ••• 108 

Chairman 109 

First Board no 

Gutch 168 


Hadspen House .r* 197 

Half Moon Inn 84 

Hall 196 

Hannam, James 75 

Hare and ^ponds Inn 84 

Hart Inn 77, 84 

Harvey 194 

Hider, George 76 

Highway Rate, 1703 129 

Hine, Robert 44 

Hit or Miss In& 84 

Hobhouse 198 

Hog in Armour Inn ... 84 
Holbrook House ••» 195 

Hopkins, David 56 

Horwood Well Bank... 207 
Horwood Well House 57, 204 

Hospital 269 

House, Mr. Cash's ... 185 
„ Mr. G. Cooper's 187 

Hunt 202 

Hussey, £ 



Incumbents of Wincanton 54 

Inns 77, 2^3 

Ireson House 184 

Ireson, Nathaniel ... 182, 
184, 185, 209. 

ekyll ... 200 

oanes, Hugh 167 

ustices of the Peace ... 113 

uvenile Fwesters ... 269 




thing's Anns Inn — 
High Street ..• 
Market Place ... 

King's Head Inn 

... 185 

... 85 
... 85 
... 85 

Lamb Inn ... 
Langley, John 

... 85 

••• ^25 

Latllfofd tlouse 193 

Leir 201 

Lewis - 95» 98 

Lewis, Bartabie ... 44, 183 
Lists of Inhabitants and 
Owners in Domes- 
day Book, 1085... 252 

In 1327 123 

In 1558 32 

In 1678 ... ... ••• 125 

In 1703 129 

In 1736 133 

In 1745 141 

In 1774 157 

London Inn 85 

Longe, Herodias ... 167 

Longevity i77 

L'Orti, Henry 205 

Lovel 253 

Lyon Inn ... ..« ... 79 


Malthouses ... 68, 74, 243 
Maperton House ... 202 

Market. 26, 233, 239 

Market Hall 191 

Market House ... 95, 188 
Market House & Town Hall, 

cost of erection in 1 769 1 89 
Marriages by Justice of 

Peace 150 

Marsh Court 42 

Masonic Lodges 270 

Meade) David 57 

Meade family 167 

Medlycott 204 

Messiter family ... 185, 186, 

1-87, 201, 205, 215. 
Messiter, Richard ... 2x5 

Messitcrs' Bank 207 

Mitchell .* 95 

Moels, Barony de ... 202 
Monmouth's Rebellion 67 

Moody 184 

Moorhayes Manor House 203 
Mormonites... ••. •«• 73 
Morrish .,. ... 184, 195 
Mucegros, de • 194 


Name of Wincantoa 8-10 
Names of Places near 

Wincanton 12 

National Schcx)l built 57, 243 

New Inn • ... 85 

Newport, Maurice, see Ewens 

Nichols, Roger 5 

Nicholson Richard 47, 5! 
Nonconformists in 

Wincanton 67 

Notable Men 208 

Oddfellows 271 

Olding 98, 99 

Orange, Prince of 116,182 
Overseers, 1736-1902 161 
Overton Andrewes ... 56 

Page 196 

Paine's Bank 207 

Parish Magazine ... 47 

Parish Registers 240 

Pauper's Letter ( 1 847) 112 



Petty Sessions 113 

Phelips .. 196 

Player 197 

Plucknett 187 

Plucknett, John 56 

Plucknett, William ,.. 56 

Ply mp ton family 187 

Police Station 190 

Poor Rate, 1736 133 

i> 1745 141 

Poor's Lands 233, 235, 236 

Pottery, Ireson's 211 

Pridham 97 

Prince of Wales Inn ... 85 
Prior's. House 77 

Queen Inn 


Radford, John ... 56, 205 

Railway Inn 86 

Railway Refreshment 

Rooms 86 

Rainbow Inn 86 

Recusants in 1592 ... 67 

Red Lion Inn 86 

Redlyndi House & Chapel 201 
Restoration of Parish 

Church 47 

Proposed by Rev. R. 

Nicholson, 1885 •.. 47 
Names of Committee 48 
The work begun ... 49 
Consecration, 1889... 50 

Cost of work 51 

Principal Subscribers 51 
Description with list 
of donors ... 51-52 
Richards, Thomas .. 220 

Ring, John 222 

Ring, Richard ... 71, 222 
Rising Sun Inn 87 

Rodber House 189 

RoenhuU, Waltero ... 199 

Rogers 198 

Roman Catholics — 
Inauguration of Mission 192 
Coming of Carmelites 192 
Erection of Friary... 192 

List of Priors 193 

School 193 

Roundhill Grange ... 199 
Roundhouse 190 


Sacheverill John, 55, 62, 150 

His Ancestors 62 

And the Restoration 
Extract from Calamy's 
Nonconformist's Mem- 
orial 63 

Extract from Annus 

Mirabilis 65 

Selwyn... 186 

Seven Stars Inn 87 

Shackleton, Matthew... 58 

Shambles 188, 190 

Shank's House, 

Cucklington 205 

Shepard, Henry 55 

Shrapnell .. 196 

Singer 194 

Skinner, William ... 74 
Skirmish in x688 55, 116 

„ Its site 1x8 

Smith, Sir Richard 44, 54 

Soldini, Gosue 100 

Somerset, Dukes of ... 197 
Sons of Temperance... 250 
South Bank House ... 186 

South wood 202 

Stavordale Priory ... 54, 253 

Steeplechases 269 

Strode 187 

Stuckey's Banking Co. 207 
Suddon Grange 194 



Sun Inn 87 

Sundials 97 

Sunnyhill 186 

Swan Inn 87 

Sweating Sickness, 1552 43 

Temperance — 

First Pledges 244 

Society founded .. 246 
First Demonstration 246 
Brass Bands .. 247, 248 

Night School 247 

Coffee House 247 

Excursion to London 248 

Ting tang 94, 95 

Tithes ... 48 

Tithing men 102 

Todd- Walton 202 

Tokens 62, 150, 228 

Tout Hill House 183 

Tower, William 99 

Town, The, in early times 92 

Town in 1843 242 

Town Buildings 93 

Town Clocks ... 92, 93, 94 

Town Hall 113, 188 

Town Hall Furniture... 96 

Town Properties 232 

Trenchard 184 

Trooper Inn 88 

Trustees 103 

Turnpike Tolls 260 

Tything 25 


Uncle Tom's Cabin ... 88 

Victoria Inn 88 

Vinings in New England 168 
Visitation of Somerset ... 256 
Vyning ... 43, 126, 212 


Wages in 1843 244 

Walter of Wyncaulton 254 

Walters, James 217 

Water supply 242 

Watts 206 

Watts, Nicholas ■ 54 

Way family ... 95, 98, 99 

Weare 96, 100, loi 

Webb ... 185, 186, 200 
Wesley John at Wincanton 70 
•.. 55 
... 88 
... 90 
... 89 
... 90 
... 91 
... 207 
67, 116 
... 61 


White, Jack 

White Hart Inn... 
Church Street... 
Market Place ... 

White Horse Inn 

White Lyon Inn 

Whitmarsh & Co. 

William of Orange 

Wilson, G. H 

Wilts & Dorset Bank 207 

Wincale, (Wincawel) River 9 

Wincanton — 

(Wincalton, Wincaunton) — 
Its Name- 
Origin and Meaning 8 
Variations in spelling 10 
Alphabetical List of 

Place-names near ... 13 
Charter of Fairs and 
Markets, and its 

renewals 26 

The Borough in Queen 

Elizabeth's time ... 32 
The Parish Church ... 42 

Incumbents 54 

Nonconformists 67 

Inns 77 

Town Clocks 92 

Clockmakers 97 

Local Government ... 102 
In the Civil War ... 115 
And the Pr. of Orange 116 




In time of Edward III. 123 

The Borough in 1678 125 

Highway Rate in 1 703 129 

Poor Rate in 1736 .. 133 

»• M 1745— 141 

Window Tax in 1774 157 

Overseers 1736-1902 161 

Witchcraft in 1664 ••• 149 

People as Colonizers 165 

1637-1902 170 

Longevity m 177 

Buildings of Interest 182 

Banks ••• ••• ... 207 

Notable Men 208 

Tokens 228 

Associations for protection 

against felony ... 229 

Town Properties ••• 232 

Parish Registers ... 240 

Temperance in ••• 242 


Chronology of Events 252 
Societies &. Institutions 269 
Public Bodies& Officers 274 
Local Folk Lore ••• 278 
Wincanton & Somerset 

Bank 207 

Window Tax (1774) ... 157 
Witchcraft in 1664 ... 149 

Wood, John R 225 

Workhouse in 1742 ... 106 

In 1837 108, 109 

At present day ... 1 1 1 
Wyndham 196, 200 

Yarlington House ... {98 
Yeomanry Cavalry ... 270 


194, 202 

NoTB. — ^The Names given in the Index entries — Lists of Inhabitants, 

Longevity, Names of Places, Overseers, Churchwardens, — 

are not indexed. 


List of Subscribers. 

fal^T op ^UB^CI^IBERp. •^^- 

A'Barrow, Mr, Rufus, Putney, London 
Angerstein, Mr. John R. J., Holbrook House 
Austen, Miss, Hazeldene, Berrow, Bumham 
Austen, Rev. E. G., Berrow Vicarage, Bumham 

Bacon, Mr. W. J., Poole, Dorset 

Badger, Rev. Edward, The Priory, Wincanton 

Bailward, Mr. T. H. M., J.P., Horsington Manor 

Baker, Mr. T. H., Salisbury 

Bates, Rev. E. H., Puckington Rectory 

Benjafield, Mr. G. F., Wincanton 

Benjafield, Mr. Harold, Wincanton 

Benjafield, Mr. S. H., North Cheriton 

Blake, Mr. Harvey, Wincanton 

Blyth, Mr, C, Richmond, Surrey (2 copies) 

Boodle, Mr, R. W., Birmingham 

Bottle, Miss, Mill Street, Wincanton 

Bottle, Mrs., Mill Street, Wincanton. 

Bracher, Mr. Edwin, Mere, Wilts 

Bracher, Mrs. E,, High Street, Wincanton 

Bracher, Mr. W, H., Tout Hill, Wincanton 

Bradney, Mr. John, J.P., Eastleigh, Southampton 

Bramble, Colonel, F.S.A., Weston-super-Mare 

Brice, Mrs. R., Bumham, Somerset 

Buck, Mr. F., Wincanton 

Budgen, Mr. James, Wincanton 

Bush, Mr. Thomas, Camden Crescent, Bath 

Cardell, Dr. E., Tonbridge, Kent 
Carter, Miss, Devonshire House, Wincanton 
Cash, Mr. J. O., Wincanton 
Chafyn-Grove, Mr, G. T., T.P., West Coker 
Chichester, Mr. Henry, Hill House, Wincanton 
Clark, Mr. W. S., J. P., Street, Somerset 
Clarke, Mr. Cecil, Discove House, Bruton 
CoUard, Mr. Henry, Lawrence House, Wincanton 
Collis, Miss, Grove Lodge, North Cheriton 
Conolly, Miss, Grafton Street, Dublin 


List op Subscribers. 

Ccx>per, Mr. G. H., Wincanton 

Cooper, Mr. W. E., Tout Hill House, Wincanton 

Crespi, Dr., Wimbome, Dorset 

Crews, Miss, Wincanton 

Daniel, Rev. Preb, W. E., Horsington Rectory 

Davies, Mr. J. Trevor, Yeovil 

Deanesly, Mr. Richard, Wincanton 

Dix, Mr. Mark, Wincanton 

Donne, Mr. J. S., J. P., Castle Cary 

Dove, Mr. W. T., Clapham Common, London 

Ducat, Major General, Newbury, Berks 

Dunn, Mr. Hammond, Bournemouth 

Dyke, Mr. E. E., New Bam, Wincanton 

Dyke, Mr. W. J., Wincanton 

Dyne, Miss, Rogate, Petersfield 

Dyne, Rev. W. T., Rectory, Evercreech 

Eden, Mr. J. W., Hillside, Wincanton 

Edwards, Dr. C. W., Wincanton 

Edwards, Mr. E., Wincanton 

Elworthy, Mr. F. T., F.S.A., Foxdown, Wellington 

English, Mr. T. R., South Africa 

Ewen, Major Clarence, New York (2 copies) 

Farrer, Mr. Oliver, Binnegar Hall, Wareham 
Farrer, Rev. Walter, Old Manor House, Wincanton 

(2 copies) 
Farwell, Hon. Sir George, London 
Feltham, Mr. C, Rodgrove, Wincanton 
Feltham, Mr. Tohn, Bayford, Wincanton 
Ford, Mr. F. 6., Sturminster Newton 
Forshaw, Mr., Horwood Well House, Wincanton 
Fowler, Mr. F. T., Bank House, Wincanton 
Freame, Mr. B. E., Gillingham, Dorset 
Fulford, Mr. T. H., F.H.S., Clifton, Bristol 

Galpin, Mr. Wm., Horwood, Wincanton 

George, Mr. James, Gillingham, Dorset 

George, Mr, T. G., Wandsworth Common, London 

Gibbs, Mr. John, Wincanton 

Glastonbury Antiquarian Society, Glastonbury 

Goodfellow, Mr. Tewkesbury, Gloucester 

Goodfellow, Mr. W. T., Wincanton 

Green, Mr. E., F.S.A., Devonshire Club, London 


List of Subscribers, 

Green, Mr. Thomas, Wincanton 

Green, Mr. H. P., Coylton Terrace, Wincanton 

Gumey, Mrs., St. Audrey's, Wincanton 

Hannam, Mr. Wm., Wincanton 

Hawkins, Mrs., Pine House, Wincanton 

Hay ward, Rev. D. L., The Vicarage, Bruton 

Hillier, Mr. G. T., Wincanton. 

Hinks, Mr. J. C, Wincanton 

Hiscock, Mrs. S., Mill Street, Wincanton 

Hobbs, Mr. Edward, Ireson Villas, Wincanton 

Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Lord Arthur, Bruton St., London 

Hobhouse, Bishop Edmund, Wells 

Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Henry, M.P., Hadspen House, 

Horsey, Mrs., Weymouth [Castle Gary 

Houston, Rev. James, Wincanton 

Hoyle, Mr. R. H., Wincanton 

Hudson, Mr. Thomas, Gillingham, Dorset 

Hunt, Mr. A., Salisbury Road, Harrow 

Hunt, Mr. M. H., Manchester 

Hutchings, Mr. R. R., Wincanton 

Illingworth, Mr. S. E., Isle of Wight 

Jillard, Mr. Peard, J. P., Bournemouth 

Keating, Rev. J. Lloyd, Maperton Rectory 

Keefe, Mr. Wm. E., Norwich 

Knapman, Mr. E. H., Wincanton 

Knight, Mr. W. A., Sexey's Trade School, Bruton 

Lancaster, Mr. H. J. H., Barton Regis 
Langhorne, Mr. W. B., J. P., Starcross, Devon 
Leir, Rev. L. R. M., Charlton Rectory, Wincanton 
Lloyd, Rev. John A., Mere, Wilts 
Long, Mr. Harry, Birmingham 

McKay, Mrs., W^estbury-on-Trym, Bristol 
Macmillan, Mr. A., Yeovil 
Macmillan, Mr. William, Castle Gary 
Maggs, Mr. E. E. H., Birstall, Leeds 
Mansel, Colonel, Bayford Lodge, Wincanton 
Mayo, Rev. Canon, Long Burton, Sherborne 
Mead, Mr. Isaac, Wincanton 
Meehan, Mr. J. F., Gay Street, Bath 


List of Subscribers. 

Miller, Mr. E., Wincanton (2 copies) 
Morland, Mr. J. C, Glastonbury 
Newcombe, Mrs., Market Harborough 
Newman, Mrs. F., Purse Caundle 
Newman, Mr. Wm., Junior, Wincanton 

Paget, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Homer, Cranmore Hall 
Parsons, Mr. Robert, Kenilworth, South Africa 
Perrett, Mr. J. G., Colston, Westbury, Wilts 
Pither, Mr. John, Castle Cary 
Pitman, Mr. W. C, Wincanton 
Pocock, Mr. Charles, Wincanton 

Rogers, Rev. A. J., Yarlington Rectory 
Rogers, Chancellor T. E., D.L., Yarlington House, 
Rowden, Mr. Wm., Holton [Wincanton 

Rutter, Mr. C. E., Wincanton 

Shaw, Mrs., West Hill House, Wincanton 

Shaw, Rev. Preb. Wm. Stokes, Twerton, Bath 

Sly, Mr. E. B., Sutton, Surrey 

Sly, Mr. Wm., Deputy Surgeon General, Brockley 

Smith, Mr. W. E., Wincanton 

Smith, Prebendary G. E., Brent Knoll 

Somerset Archaeological Society, Taunton 

Spencer, Mr. J. A., W. & D. Bank House, Wincanton 

Stacey, Mr. T. H., Lavender Hill, London (2 copies) 

Still, Mr. J. W., Emwell School, Warminster 

Sloper, Mr. Edwin, F.G.S., Crouch End, London 

Stoate, Mr. Wm., Belmont, Burnham 

Stutfield, Mr. H. W. B., Parliament Street, London 

Surrage, Mrs., Regents Park, London 

Swanton, Mr. E. W., Haslemere, Surrey 

Sweet man, Miss A., Wincanton 

Sweetman, Mr. E. A., Tunbridge Wells 

Sweetman, Mr. H. W., Paris 

Terry, Rev. G. T. M. Messiter, Payhembury, Devon 
Thatcher, Mr. Thomas, College Green, Bristol 
Thompson, Mr. J. W., Hyde Park, London 
Tite, Mr. Charles, Rosemount, Taunton (4 copies) 
ToUey, Mr. C. W., Wincanton 


List of Subscribers. 

Trenchard, Mr. Arthur, Honor Oak, London 
Trowbridge, Mr. Robert, Long Sutton, Langport 
Tucker, Mrs. F., South Street, Wincanton 

Union Assurance Company, London and Bristol 

Vining, Mr. Jared, Dundas Street, London, Canada 
Vining, Mr. Mark L., Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S.A. 
Vining, Mr. W. E., Colwyn, Delaware, U.S.A. 

Wadman, Mr. John, Ireson House, Wincanton 

Weare, Mr. Bernard, Wincanton 

Weaver, Mr. Charles, Clifton, Bristol 

W^eaver, Rev. F. W., Milton Clevedon, Evercreech 

Witte, Mr. Henry, Willesden Green, London 

Williams, Mr. John, Wincanton 

Wilson, Rev. (j. H., Wincanton (2 copies) 

Woodward, Colonel, Shatterwell House, Wincanton 

Woolfrey, Mr. Alfred, Chelsea, London 




••Memorials of Wincanton People." 

Price One Shilling ; post free, 1/2. 

"We have had evidence in several previous publications of the zealous 
work done by Mr. Sweetman in recording and preserving the antiquities of 
Wincanton, and in the volume before us, he has given us another proof of 
his useful industry." — Bristol Mercury, 

"Fires in Wincanton." 

Price One Shilling ; post free, 1/2. 

•' A. good deal of labour must have been devoted by Mr. Sweetman to the 
compilation of this little book, which contains an account of the chief fires that 
have taken place in Wincanton during the past two centuries, beginning with 
the great fire of 1707, the total loss by which amounted to ;f3,ooo, a heavy loss 
in those days for a small country town to suffer." &c., &c. — Cfalisbury Jourfial. 

" 'Fires at Wincanton' is an interesting account of the appliances for 
the extinction of fire which have been in use for 185 years, with a record of 
the mischief wrought by the fires of 1707 and 1878. These ccuntributions to 
local history are most commendable." — Bristol Mercury. 

••The French in Wincanton.'' 

Price One Shilling ; post free, 7/2, 

"An interesting monograph on "The French in Wincanton ** which has 
just been published by Mr. George Sweetman of that town. Mr. Sweetman, 
and others like him, who compile their modest records, do valuable work with 
much more than a local significance » for the histories of our little Wincantons 
go to make the warp and woof of the history of England." — 

Leading article, Daily Chronicle. 

" Mr. Sweetman deserves the gratitude of Somerset people, and indeed of 
all who value the preservation of those local records which are often of so much 
value to historians by the good work he has done in this and other historical 
pamphlets dealing with Wincanton and the neighborhood." — 

Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 



' Stavordale Priory •• and " Pen Pits/' 

In one book^ price One Shilling ; post freCy 1(2. 

" There has been a good deal of wild discussion about the Pen Pits. The 
only satisfactory theory, and the one accepted by all the best authorities, is that 
these pits are the remains of quarries made for the purpose of obtaining stones 
for querns. Mr. Sweetman has called in photography to his aid, and given us 
two excellent illustrations of the Priory as it was in 1839, one of the outside of 
the church ; the other of the fan-tracery of the chapel. He has contributed a 
useful little guide-book to one of the many interesting relics of the middle ages 
in Somerset." — Bristol Times and Mirror, 

" In Stavordale Priory, Wincanton, and Pen Pits, Penselwood, we have a 
record of two places possessing much archaeological interest. Stavordale Priory 
was at one time the dwelling of an important community. Pen Pits, about four 
miles from the little market town of Wincanton, is a series of holes in the 
earth, whose meaning has been long a subject of dispute amongst the learned, 
some, such as Mr. Kerslake, maintaining that they are the ruins of a British 
primeval metropolis, while General Pitt-Rivers insisted that they were merely 
quarries for mill-stones or querns. Mr. G. Sweetman gives the arguments on 
both sides, and much curious and interesting information concerning both 
the subjects of his pamphlet." — The Guardian, Jan. 30th, 1901. 

"Mr. Sweetman shows his customary zeal and industry in collecting facts 
bearing on his subject, and has produced a valuable and instructive record. 
The short chapter on Pen Pits is chiefly interesting as containing Mr. 
Sweetman s declaration that careful consideration has led him to reject Mr. 
Kerslake's ' British Metropolis ' theory, and accept the conclusions arrived at 
by General Pitt-Rivers as the result of his excavations 17 years ago. General 
Pitt-Rivers pronounced that those were right who regarded the ancient pits 
as the remains of quarries made for the purpose of obtaining querns, and 
other purposes. We agree with Mr. Sweetman that it is impossible to resist 
the evidence for the General's conclusions." — iSaliebury Journal, Aug. 11, 1900. 

"Dear Sir, 

I am sending you i/i for your very interesting pamphlet. I am glad you 
Call in with General Pitt- Rivers' views about the Pen Pits. I was with him 
during the period of his excavations, and felt then, as I do now, that no other 
opinion than his can be arrived at. Rejected querns were all over the place. 

Yours truly, J. C. Mansell-Pleydbll." 

"Dear Mr. Sweetman, Hadspen House, Sept. 8th, i|h>. 

I have read your book on Stavordale with great interest. 

Yours truly, H. Hobhousb." 


" History of the Congregational Church, 

Price One Shilling ; post free^ 1 j2. 

[This is more than the history of a local denomination. It is to 
some extent a history of religion in Wincanton for over 200 years.] 

"History of thk Congregational Church, Wincanton, Somerset. 
George Sweetman, 11, Market Place, Wincanton. — This addition to the series 
of books written and published by Mr. Sweetman has been called forth by the 
centenary of the Congregational Church at Wincanton. In the spring of 1799, 
a piece of ground was purchased as a site for a chapel, and the building was 
opened for worship on September i8th, 1800. As in his previous works dealing 
with the history and archaeology of Wincanton and the neighbouring district, 
Mr. Sweetman has evidently been at considerable pains to compile the records 
contained in this unpretending, but useful and instructive volume. The 
book, which is illustrated with a frontispiece plate, 'Congregational Church, 
Wincanton, Centenary, 1900,' is published at One Shilling." — 

Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 

"Guide to Stourhead," H- ; post fru, 1/2. 


on sale at 




£ S. 4 

Jennings* Zummerzet Rhymes 

Agrikler, Rhymes by, 2 vols, at 

Slew's West Country Tales, in Wiltshire dialect 

Barnes, Rev. Wm., Poems in Dorset Dialect 

„ „ Poems of Rural Life, pub. 6/- 

„ „ Life of, by his daughter, 7/6 

Weaver's Somerset Incumbents, each 

Church, Mrs., Old Wells Fair 

Bernard's Thesaurus Biblicus, 1644 

Fisher's Forest of Essex, new, pub. 35/- ... ... 

A/tf m/s Magazine^ i o vols., complete set, original binding 150 

Simpson's Old St. Paul's. A valuable history 5 6 

Any Somerset book extant procured at the lowest possible price. 


I o 

I o 

I 6 

6 o 

3 6 

4 o 
6 o 
I 6 

10 6 

8 6 





S3S S- ■ 



— OF— 













&c., &c., &c. 

11 f Market Place, Wincanton. 

This book should be returi, 
the Library on or before the lae 
stamped below* 

A fine of five oGnts a day is in* 
by retaining it beyond the apel 

Please return promptly. 

\j^ !.n A iVl ^^ 

hl«tory of WInontoA, Soin«rMl. 
mm lilMvy 0M701I09 

2044 081 231 656